In a somewhat surprising trade, the @Nashville Predators sent centre Nick Bonino, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2020 third-round pick to the @Minnesota Wild for RFA @Luke Kunin and a 2020 fourth-round pick.
- To Nashville:
– Luke Kunin (C/RW)
– No.101 Overall — Adam Wilsby (D – 🇸🇪)
- To Minnesota:
– Nick Bonino (C)
– No. 37 Overall — Marat Khusnutdinov (C – 🇷🇺)
(No. 70 Overall — Traded to Detroit for No.65 Overall)
– No.65 Overall — Daemon Hunt (D – 🇨🇦)
Kunin is a pending free agent, who is coming off of the best season of his young career. The 2016 No.15 overall pick had 15 goals and 16 assists (31 points) in 63 games–20-goal, 21-assist per 82 game pace. He is projected to get a three-year deal worth $9.75 million ($3.25M AAV). Kunin was drafted as a centre but has spent the majority of his career on the wing. With trading Bonino and buying out @Kyle Turris, it seems as if the Predators plan to Kunin down the middle.
Bonino is entering the final year of a four-year deal that carries a $4.1 million AAV. The veteran has some offensive ability but is best suited as a shutdown, third-line centre. In his three seasons with the Predators, he averaged 18 goals and 18 assists (36 points) per 82 games. Given the Wild’s lack of quality centres, Bonino could end up being their second-line centre but that’s less a less than ideal situation.
Draft Picks Acquired:
Wilsby is a 6-foot, 183 lbs. left-shot defenseman out of Sweden. He spent most of 2020 in Sweden’s second division, scoring three goals with 27 assists (30 points) in 41 games. He is with Skellefteå AIK of the SHL to start the 2020-21 season.
Khusnutdinov graded out as a first-rounder for many scouts, so this is good value for the Wild. The 5-foot-9, 165 lbs. Russian winger plays a responsible 200-foot game that fits the Wild’s style of play. In 2020 he played in Russia’s second division, ranking sixth on his team with 38 points (13G / 25A).
Hunt is a 6-foot, 198 lbs. Canadian left-shot defenseman that is extremely mobile. He missed a good portion of 2020 but recorded 15 assists in 28 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors.