Fantasy Impact: Straight up – Eric Staal for Marcus Johansson
On Wednesday afternoon, the Wild and Sabres traded forwards with a year remaining on their deals. The Sabres brought in three-time 40-goal man Eric Staal while the Wild took in 29-year-old Marcus Johansson. No money was retained by either side.
The Wild Receive: A versatile forward who lives in the 40-point pace year after year. His stint in Buffalo was a short one. One where he played centre for a good chunk of time mostly out of necessity. The Swede has one year remaining at 4.5 million meaning Minny is taking on an additional 1.25M against the cap. MoJo projects to slide back over to the left side in Minnesota; a spot he’s historically been more comfortable in.
The Sabres Receive: A borderline Hall of Famer. Staal outproduced Johansson last season (and every other season outside of the anomaly that was 2015-16). Before COVID reared its ugly head, there were whispers ahead of the trade deadline that is Staal was moved, he would simply retire. However, on Tuesday of this past week, it was reported that the Wild requested an updated No-Trade list from the 35-year-old. Buffalo was surprisingly not on that list. If he does report, Staal offers a nice second-line centre upgrade on the carousel that held that position for the previous two years. That level of support for Jack Eichel is much needed, but it also offers a mentorship opportunity for young pivots like Casey Mittelstadt and Dylan Cozens.
Fantasy Players Impacted: To me, this reads that either Joel Eriksson-Ek or Luke Kunin will be given an opportunity to take a top-six centre role and run with it. With Mikko Koivu rumored to be heading into the sunset, both might end up in that position. However, it appears evident the team will be looking to add a pivot to their team and likely at the cost of Matthew Dumba.
In Buffalo, Mittelstadt will remain down the pecking order. This move may even slow the club from rushing Cozens into a spot he’s not yet ready for (like they did with Mittelstadt). Jeff Skinner should have an upgraded middleman to work with as well.
Fantasy Players This Helps (in order):
- Jeff Skinner
- Joel Eriksson-Ek
- Marcus Johansson
- Luke Kunin
- Dylan Cozens
Fantasy Players This Hurts (in order):
- Casey Mittelstadt
- Dylan Cozens
- Eric Staal
No data at this moment.