The Minnesota Wild have traded forward Luke Kunin to the Nashville Predators. The Wild also sent the 101st prospect in exchange for Nick Bonino, the 37th pick and the 70th pick. All picks are for the current 2020 Draft. Elliotte Friedman announced the trade Wednesday morning.
Bonino, 37 and 70 for Luke Kunin and 101
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2020
Wild Trade Luke Kunin
Kunin was a bright spot for Minnesota in 2019-20. The young skater had 15 goals and 31 points in 63 games. He is still just 22-years-old but he was about to be a restricted free agent and Minnesota has plenty of depth on its wings. He entered the league with the Wild as the 15th overall pick in the 2016 Draft and has 23 goals and 52 points in 131 games. Kunin will give the Predators some extra youth and scoring punch.
Nashville’s Bonino was also quite fine in the past campaign. The 32-year-old posted 18 goals and 35 points in 67 games. He still has one year left on his current deal that will count as $4.1 million towards Minnesota’s cap before hitting free agency. Bonino is a perfect centre option on a team that is weak down the middle. The veteran of 11 seasons has 122 goals and 282 points in 626 games since he debuted in 20019-10 with the Anaheim Ducks.
What This Means for the Future
This move benefits both teams. Nashville has centres but relatively little punch on the wing. It is easy to project Kunin moving into the Predators’ top-six and he has plenty of upside. Nashville has $12.29 million in cap space to sign Kunin to a new contract before any other moves are made.
Minnesota also gets someone who should move into the centre position for the second or third line. Veteran Mikko Koivu will not return for 2020-21 but the Wild has little organizational depth for his vacated spot. The team has $8.46 million remaining and two additional picks to add future assets.