The Nashville Predators have landed a big fish from a Central Division rival. The Minnesota Wild fire sale continues, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that that center Mikael Granlund has been traded to Nashville. In exchange, the Predators send young winger Kevin Fiala back to Minnesota. The deal is a straight one-for-one swap.
Granlund, 26, was not immediately considered a likely trade candidate this season, as he has one year remaining on his current contract. However, once the Wild began listening on nearly every player on the roster, Granlund emerged as a potential casualty. Earlier today, it was confirmed that Nashville was among the teams interested in Granlund and managed to get the deal done. The well-rounded forward has topped 60 points in each of the past two seasons and is on pace to do so again this year. At a $5.75MM cap hit through 2019-20, the Predators land a great value and a relatively young piece that could be a long-term fit in Nashville.
Meanwhile, Fiala is a return that is unlikely to excite Minnesota fans. The player himself is a great young piece; the 22-year-old was a 2014 first-round pick and already has 97 points in 204 career NHL games. However, in a one-for-one swap with an established player like Granlund, he will have to grow into a much better player. Fortunately, GM Paul Fenton knows Fiala well from his time in Nashville and could see him as a potential top forward in the future.