Minnesota Wild Should Move Devan Dubnyk

devan dubnyk

Devan Dubnyk has been a valuable asset for the Minnesota Wild for many years. Unfortunately, the Wild goaltender is ageing and seems to be performing at a lower level than he previously was. It is time for the Wild front office to look into moving the former starter.

Devan Dubnyk Should Be Moved

Dubnyk has been a part of the Minnesota Wild since January 15th, 2015 when he was traded to Minnesota from the Arizona Coyotes for Minnesota’s third-round pick. When Dubnyk arrived in Minnesota, he instantly established himself as a starting goaltender. The Wild netminder went 27-9-2 in his first year with the team while posting a .936% save percentage and a 1.78 goals-against average.

Dubnyk continued his success with the Wild in the years to follow, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs numerous times. Unfortunately, his performance has taken a turn for the worse. Dubnyk used to be solid in almost every aspect of his game. Recently, Dubnyk has let in a lot of goals that should be stopped. His expected goals against for the 2019-20 season is about 66.29. Unfortunately, Dubnyk’s actual goals against for the season was 93.78. This puts him at 27.49 goals saved above expected. In simpler terms, Dubnyk allowed about 27 more goals than the average goalie this season.

New young talent is always exciting, especially for the Wild. The Wild tend to sign older veterans in the offseason to try and bring them further in the playoffs. As one might guess, this backfires when these players age and slow down and can’t compete with the teams built on speed. Kaapo Kahkonen is an exciting goalie prospect who dominated the AHL this season. A goalie can only progress so much in the minor leagues, and soon Kahkonen will need to be pulled up to the big leagues to progress into a potential franchise goaltender. One current goalie needs to be released or traded, and that falls on Dubnyk.

Minnesota Could Package Dubnyk at the Draft

Phase Two of the NHL Draft Lottery confirmed that the Wild will pick at number nine in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. This draft is very deep and Minnesota needs someone to help turn the franchise around. Kevin Fiala has proven himself to be a star player, and Kirill Kaprizov will add a new dimension to the Wild’s offence. Still, Minnesota needs a top-line center due to the potential of long-time captain Mikko Koivu announcing his retirement from the NHL.

There are two scenarios that seem more plausible than all others. The Ottawa Senators have two top ten picks in the upcoming draft. A target for Minnesota could be pick number five. Minnesota could bundle pick nine and Dubnyk along with one more pick, either second round this year or third round next year, to move up and select a center. This would benefit Ottawa because they keep their highest pick, only move back four spots, gain a goaltender, and gain an early-round pick. Dubnyk only has one year remaining on his contract, so if the deal backfires, Ottawa would not be stuck long term.

Another option would be for the Wild to keep their ninth overall selection and to trade Dubnyk, a second-round pick, and a fourth-round pick to a team knocked out in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This allows the Wild to keep their ninth pick and also get another exciting prospect out of a very deep pool of talented players.

A Buyout Is an Option

The Wild can buy out Devan Dubnyk as well. If a trade is not in the picture, then buying out the remaining year of Dubnyk’s contract to free up a spot for Kahkonen is a definite possibility. This move would cost Minnesota $1.6 million dollars. This may seem like a lot, but it would actually save the Wild over $850,000. Although fans would be sad to see him go, it would be best for the organization to try and field a more competitive team.

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