NHL commerce grades: Wild purchase Gustav Nyquist, Marcus Johansson to handle ahead depth

The trades

Wild get: Forward Gustav Nyquist (50 % of wage retained by the Blue Jackets), ahead Marcus Johansson

Capitals get: 2024 third-round decide

Blue Jackets get: 2023 fifth-round decide

Dom Luszczyszyn: After spending final week because the league’s unofficial dealer, the Wild acquired in on the motion themselves with a pair of offers. First, they traded a third-rounder to Washington for Marcus Johansson after which they adopted that up later within the day by buying Gustav Nyquist for a fifth-round decide.

The pair of strikes have been made to shore up the staff’s ahead depth, which has been a giant concern this yr after being an indicator of the staff’s energy during the last two seasons. Johansson has been a stable middle-six man for the Capitals this yr whereas Nyquist was the identical when wholesome. With these two additions, the Wild are definitely deeper than they have been a day in the past.

The query is whether or not it’s sufficient to matter. The Wild aren’t the staff they have been final yr or the yr prior — they’re on the fringes of the Western Conference playoff hierarchy. They appear to be first-round fodder and neither of those strikes modifications that. It looks like making strikes only for the sake of it.

Loads hinges on what sort of participant Nyquist will be when he’s wholesome. He’s anticipated to return earlier than the playoffs, however even when he does he’s very far faraway from the impression participant he as soon as was. Nyquist might have scored 53 factors final season, however defensively he was a shell of himself — an enormous departure from who he was earlier than lacking your complete 2021 season to harm. That’s solely continued this season, however with even much less scoring punch.

As for Johansson, he’s a quintessential middle-six ahead — nothing much less, nothing extra. He’ll get you 40 factors and be an OK play-driver. He’s the definition of A Guy. Nothing flawed with that, it’s simply not very totally different from what Minnesota already has.

Nyquist and Johansson can assist, however solely marginally. On the plus aspect, the Wild paid little or no to make it occur so it’s a transfer that doesn’t carry a lot danger. It simply leaves me questioning if there wasn’t a greater deal to be made for a ahead or two who may’ve made a much bigger impression.

Wild: C+
Capitals: B
Blue Jackets: B-

Marcus Johansson (Scott Taetsch / Getty Images)

Shayna Goldman: After enjoying dealer on a few trades, the Wild lastly made some additions of their very own. First up, it was Johansson for a 3rd. The Capitals stepped again and are taking advantage of all of their pending unrestricted free brokers. A 3rd for a depth participant is an effective add and can assist on this course of — whether or not they really draft with this or use it as a commerce asset.

It’s only a bit underwhelming from a Wild perspective. Sure, there’s a familiarity right here, however Johansson had one of many worst seasons of his profession in Minnesota. He completely sunk the staff’s offense at any time when he was on the ice, irrespective of who he skated alongside — Zach Parise, Kevin Fiala, you title it. And he struggled defensively, too. While that appears to be the outlier of his profession, why roll it again when it clearly didn’t work the primary time? The Wild do want assist in the ahead division and this provides some depth, however it doesn’t actually make the staff any extra dynamic than earlier than.

The identical is considerably true with Nyquist. There’s a bit extra scoring upside to him when he’s at his greatest, however there’s a giant query mark of whether or not he’ll get again there after a tough yr in Columbus, particularly after spending time sidelined with harm. His defensive recreation is one other concern, however possibly the Wild really feel they’ve sufficient construction to stability that out. The shiny aspect right here is the price: it solely value Minnesota a fifth to amass him, a decide they added to retain wage on one other deal.

If these are simply the beginning of the Wild’s strikes, then it’s nice. But this can be a staff that wants no less than one impression ahead, if no more, to take them to the following degree — not simply to face up taller within the Western Conference, however to measure wherever near the East. Minnesota has some cap house as it’s, and retention on the Nyquist deal doesn’t damage; administration simply really has to make use of it.

Wild: B-
Capitals: B+
Blue Jackets: C+

(Photo: Ben Jackson / NHLI through Getty Images)

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