The red-hot Minnesota Wild have added an extra push as the team looks to capture the Northwest Division, while the struggling Buffalo Sabres are loading up for the Future.
The Wild announced the team has acquired Sabres captain Jason Pominville in exchange for Matt Hackett and Johan Larsson. Something Minnesota could use is more offense, and Pominville should provide that. After the Sabres drafted in in the second round (55th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Pominville made his debut in the 2003-2004 season, and then after the 2004-2005 lockout spent most of the last eight seasons with the Sabres. Pominville is a 30-year-old American right wing (despite being born in Repentigny, Quebec) who has 10 goals and 15 assists in 37 games this year. Pominville has put up big offensive numbers throughout his career as a Sabre, including a 2006-2007 season where he put up 34 goals and 34 assists, a 2007-2008 season where he put up 27 goals and 53 assists, and last season, his first as captain, where he put up 30 goals and 43 assists. In 578 NHL games in the regular season, Pominville has put up 185 goals and 271 assists, as well as 12 goals and 16 assists in 45 playoff games. After this season, Pominville has one more year left on his five-year contract worth $26.5 million.
In exchange, the Sabres get Hackett, a 23-year-old goalie from London, Ontario who stands at 6’2″, 170 lbs and was drafted by the Wild in the third round (77th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Hackett has only played one NHL game this year, but was impressive in a 12-game stint last season, putting up a 2.38 goals against average and .921 save percentage, despite a 3-6-0 record. Brodin is a 20-year-old, left-handed shooting right wing from Lau, Sweden who was drafted in the second round (56th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Wild. Standing at 5’11”, 198 lbs, Larsson put up four goals and four assists in 44 games with Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League in 2010-2011, then improved to 12 goals and 24 assists in 49 games last year. This year, he has 15 goals and 22 assists in 62 games with the Houston Aeros in the AHL, and played in one game for Minnesota.