Buffalo Bulks up Blue Line in deal with Wild

Neil Parker


Marco Scandella - USA TODAY Sports Images


The Sabres acquired Marco Scandella, Jason Pominville and a 2018 fourth-round pick from the Wild in exchange for Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno and a 2018 third-round selection Friday.



What the Sabres Receive

Scandella is a top-four defenseman with a well-rounded game. He has the size and defensive acumen to play a shut-down role, but isn't the fleetest of foot. Despite solid skating ability and a heavy shot, Scandella isn't going to make much of an offensive impact, either. His 47.9 Corsi For percentage over the past two years also isn't a confidence-instilling mark. Still, the 27-year-old defenseman might have some untapped upside and could take his game to another level with a more prominent role.

After breaking into the league with Buffalo, a homecoming projects to be a nice fit for Pominville. The veteran turned in a sneaky good offensive season last year with an eighth-ranked 2.41 points per 60 minutes among all skaters with at least 750 minutes, and his leadership and experience will also be welcomed. He's also been an excellent driver of possession with a 53.0 Corsi For percentage over the past four seasons. His best days are behind, and Pominville isn't suited to be a leading cog, but he's a capable middle-six winger that can still move the offensive needle.


What the Wild Receive

Ennis is a diminutive and oft-injured scorer that's in need of a change of scenery following eight years with the Sabres. He has posted just eight goals and 24 points over 74 games the past two seasons and logged a career-low 12:50 of ice time during the 2016-17 campaign. It isn't out of the question that all the injuries have taken too much of a toll, and Ennis' days as a top-six scorer are in the rearview mirror. His ability to line up on both sides of center will help his ability to fit in with the Wild, though.

Foligno is currently a restricted free agent, so Minnesota will have to ink him to a deal, and the money and term of that pact will be reveal more about what his role with the club will be. His offensive numbers have reached a plateau the past two seasons, as he appears to be best suited in a shut-down role because of his work ethic and size. Foligno is also considered a strong penalty killer. Still just 25 years old, there is potential for a step forward offensively, but and a scoring-line role will be needed. He's unlikely to receive much power-play time.


Fantasy Breakdown

Despite some of the noted shortcomings, Scandella is still a significant upgrade for the Buffalo blue line, which is in turn a plus for the entire team. With more minutes and a potential pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen, Scandella's own fantasy value receives a slight boost. He'll probably continue to be more help in the peripheral categories than in offensive columns, t