Burns, Pick Sent To Sharks For Setoguchi, Prospect, 1st Round Pick
The Minnesota Wild swung a blockbuster trade during round one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, trading All Star defenseman Brent Burns to the San Jose Sharks. In return for Burns and a second round pick in next year’s draft, the Wild received winger Devin Setoguchi, prospect Charlie Coyle, and the 28th pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Minnesota Wild then drafted center Zack Phillips with the 28th selection. To find out why the Wild traded Burns, and how the deal affects the roster, find out after the jump.
Coming into this upcoming season, the Minnesota Wild faced a problem. All Star defenseman Brent Burns was in the last year of his contract before he became an unrestricted free agent. Preliminary talks with his agent Ron Salcer, the same agent as Marian Gaborik, showed that Burns wanted big money and multiple years to stay with the only NHL team he’s ever known. After losing Gaborik for nothing two years ago, and having to pay big money to retain Mikko Koivu last summer, GM Chuck Fletcher had to make a decision regarding what to do with Burns. In the end, Fletcher was forced to trade Burns, or else he risked losing a very skilled player for absolutely nothing but cap space.
Leading into the draft, it was known that Fletcher like to make a splash at the draft, especially when his own team was hosting the event. Once the Wild drafted Swedish defenseman Jonas Brodin with the tenth overall pick, Burns’ days with Minnesota seemed to be numbered. Before the Chicago Blackhawks made their selection at #18, commissioner Gary Bettman announced the trade between the Wild and Sharks. Even before the announcement, rumors were circulating throughout the crowd that Burns had been traded.
In the end, Fletcher got just about everything he wanted out of a trade. He got rid of Burns and the need to resign him before unrestricted free agency. He added another draft pick to supplement the loss of this year’s second round pick in the Chuck Kobasew trade. He added a highly prized prospect in Charlie Coyle who can help the team in a couple years. Most importantly, Fletcher got a player in Devin Setoguchi who will score goals and, more importantly, isn’t afraid to take shots on net. The Wild roster tends to be a pass first, shoot later mentality, and having someone itching to pull the trigger like Setoguchi can only help the Minnesota offense.
Devin Setoguchi is seen as almost the type of player that Guillame Lantendresse was before he was acquired by the Wild. Setoguchi is seen as a highly skilled scorer, but doesn’t seem to give a full effort or play his hardest all the time. Many people attribute his offensive numbers to playing with such great talent on the first line in San Jose. Whether it is the organization itself or the player, it seems that Setoguchi can benefit from a change of scenery, even if it is a suprise to him. Just yesterday, the Sharks signed Setoguchi to a new three year, $9 million dollar contract. The seasonal cap hit is much lower than that of a potential new contract for Burns.
The second player received in the trade, Charlie Coyle, is seen as a prospect with very high upside. Coyle was a freshman last year at Boston University, and showed that he has the skill and ability to be a scorer at the highest level. Coyle also was arguably the most dominant US player at the most recent World Junior Championships. Coyle gives the team much needed depth at the forward position, and could also potentially make his way onto the Wild’s top line in the future.
With the 28th pick in the draft, the draft pick originally owned by San Jose, the Wild selected Zack Phillips. Phillips was the leading scorer in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season. The Central Scouting Bureau had Phillips ranked as its 15th best player, with multiple mock drafts having Phillips off the board by Minnesota’s first selection in the first round. Phillips is an offensive center, and should be expected to compete for a roster spot on the Wild within a couple years. Besides adding more, and younger, prospects, Chuck Fletcher also added a lot of something that has been missing over the last few years in the State of Hockey: pure goal scorers.
Finally, this trade clears up an important roster spot for the Wild. Veteran defensemen like Nick Schultz and Marek Zidlicky are too expensive, and possess no trade clauses, to ship off to other teams. By trading Brent Burns, the Wild create an opening on the NHL roster for a defensemen. Most likely, Marco Scandella will be the player who sees the most benefit from this trade. Scandella will be expected to step in right away and prove himself as one of the team’s top defensemen. With so much youth and potential in the system on the blue line, it’s important to have open spaces for them to show their skills at the NHL level.
While many Minnesota Wild fans are shocked and disappointed with the trade of Brent Burns, this is just another step in correcting the mistakes that past management failed on. Fletcher has undeniably restocked the Wild’s farm system with young, skilled players. He also was proactive in dealing with Brent Burns’ contract, turning a potential problem into a dearth of talent to add to the Wild roster. This deal doensn’t turn the Minnesota Wild into an instant Stanley Cup contender. At the same time, the Wild were nowhere near competing for a Cup in their current condition.
The first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at the Xcel Energy Center will be a memorable event in the history of the Minnesota Wild. Not only was it the first draft held by the franchise, but it was also the first step in the future of the organizaion. Between the hiring of coach Mike Yeo, the trading of Burns, and the drafting ability of Chuck Fletcher over the last couple years, the Minnesota Wild are much closer to competing for a Stanley Cup than they were at the end of this past season. Just that in itself is enough to keep me happy over the summer until training camp arrives.
Bryan Vickroy has an addiction to hockey, and is willing to partake in all its forms. He is skating extra shifts for The Sports Bank, covering the Minnesota Wild, the NHL, and NCAA hockey all year long. Look for new articles throughout the week. He can be followed on Twitter at @bryanvickroy. If you’d prefer to speak in more than 140 characters at a time to him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .Follow paulmbanks