The Minnesota Wild are looking to advance to the postseason for the second season in a row and the third time in five years. They are currently tied with the Nashville Predators for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. Led by the play of their top line, star forward Kirill Kaprizov is once again enjoying an MVP caliber campaign. The reigning Calder Trophy winner is pacing the group with 32 goals and 44 assists in 59 games.
The team will be looking to make additions to their roster at the trade deadline. Reportedly in the market for a veteran backup goaltender, both Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen have enjoyed their struggles of late. Along with this, general manager Bill Guerin will be looking for depth at the center ice spot as they look to round out their forward core.
Make sure to check out all of our other NHL Trade Deadline Previews.
Current Record: 36-20-4
Division Standings: Third in the Central Division
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
The Blackhawks acquired Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights last offseason. This year, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner has posted respectable numbers despite Chicago’s struggles. He has recorded a 2.90 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage across 44 starts. Minnesota is reportedly making calls around the league as they look to upgrade in between the pipes. Both Talbot and Kahkonen have struggled since the start of the new year. The former has racked up a .886 save percentage in his last 10 starts, while the latter has gone winless since February. The franchise has over $10 million in available cap space. They could take on all of his remaining cap hit while sending back multiple draft picks and prospects.
Minnesota needs to improve in the face-off dot. The team is currently winning just 47 percent of their draws. This is the third-lowest mark in the NHL. Enjoying a down year after making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last summer, the Canadiens have told teams they are open for business, with everyone not named Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield available. Battling injuries this season, Dvorak has played in just 35 games for Montreal.
The London Knights product has racked up seven goals and nine assists while playing over 17 minutes a night. One of the best in the league in the circle, he boasts a 56.4 percent win rate this season and a 51.5 percent success mark for his career. Accounting for $4.4 million against the cap, the London Knights product would help fill a much-needed void for Dean Evason‘s group.
With Ben Chiarot and Josh Manson already being moved ahead of today’s deadline, Braun is one of the biggest names left on the market for defensemen. The 35-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He is playing in the final year of his two-year contract extension. A staple in the Flyer’s top four this season, the longtime San Jose Sharks member has racked up 16 points while playing over 20 minutes a night. In addition to this, he has also amassed 114 blocks and 79 takeaways while recording a 67.8 defensive zone start percentage. Possessing the ability to play in any situation, the Saint Paul native would help improve the Wild’s 25th ranked penalty kill while also providing depth on the back end.
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