We went around the writers room and asked an important question for this summer.
The Minnesota Wild are going to have a busy summer deciding who should stay and who should go with all the salary cap implications you can think of. One of those key names is Kevin Fiala and it has been rumored that some teams are going hard after him and are willing to deal their top-10 picks in this draft.
It has been reported that the Ottawa Senators are interested and their seventh-overall pick is up for grabs. So the question is: Would you trade Fiala for a package surrounding the seventh-overall pick?
Matt: If the Wild are moving Fiala — which they are — then a package revolving around the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft would be quite the haul. Some exciting players will be available around that part of the draft with high-end talent; Joakim Kemell, Matthew Savoie, or maybe even Šimon Nemec seem tantalizing. In that part of the draft, it might take a few years for any selection to make an impact at the NHL level, and those names would seem worth the wait.
That’s not on the Wild’s timeline, though. A timeline accelerated by the same cap crunch that is forcing a Fiala trade is built around Kirill Kaprizov’s peak and taking advantage of the excess value you get from someone like Matt Boldy on his ELC.
It doesn’t make sense to target the long game in getting something in return for Fiala, specifically in dealing with Ottawa and getting the seventh-overall pick in return. If the Senators were willing to part ways with Josh Norris instead (they won’t), count me in, even if it would cost more than Fiala to get him. In any deal for Fiala, the Wild should be aiming for a way to help ease the pain of losing a point-per-game player.
Brock: No, I’d like to see the Wild acquire more for Fiala. If the Wild are able to convince a team that he would be willing to sign long term, or even sign and trade him, I think his value exceeds the pick by itself. Fiala proved this year that at his best he can drive offense and be an elite scorer. With the seventh overall pick, it’s no guarantee you’ll get a player that reaches that level. However, I don’t think this deal would be far off. Perhaps a mid-tier prospect and the seventh pick would get it done for both teams.
Thomas: Draft picks have a natural timeline and it might not fit the Wild’s perfectly. While it is the easiest conclusion that Minnesota is trying to acquire as little salary as possible and getting the seventh-overall pick would be an easy way to do exactly that. But is it enough for Fiala?
When looking at just the player, it really isn’t. Fiala has been able to score loads of goals and enough to be a real commodity around the league, and especially since he is able to play in all situations, he provides so much value to a lineup. But, there is the context of him being a restricted free agent and only having one more year under team control with the possibility of him hitting unrestricted free agency next summer and that is a limited asset (as gross a word that is). So, with that context and the general feeling that everyone knows that they are selling him, getting the seventh overall pick might just not be enough, but maybe could something like the seventh pick and a middle prospect that could challenge for a spot on the roster next year, be enough? I guess we’ll see, but I would do that.