RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes did it – they made a hockey trade before the trade deadline.
The team’s release hit the wire at 3 p.m. stating that the Hurricanes had acquired forward Nino Niederreiter from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Victor Rask.
The 26-year-old Niederreiter, who’s posted 23 points (9g, 14a) in 46 games this season, brings a sizeable body (6-foot-2-inches, 218 pounds) with a scoring touch.
In comparison, Rask, having started the season late due to recovering from an off-ice hand injury, had recorded just six points (1g, 5a) in 26 games played.
The Swedish center hadn’t performed at the level he had established in recent seasons as a complementary scorer and effective draw man.
Sitting at 22-19-5 (49 points) and seven points out of a wildcard playoff spot, Carolina’s action to make a player-for-player trade in mid-January shows commitment to trying to solidify a hard-driving work ethic.
Making such a move ahead of the NHL trade deadline (Feb. 25) shows an effort to end a nine-year postseason drought riding the wave of the team’s recent seven-win surge in its last 10 games played.
With a career-high 25 goals in 2016-17 season and having reached the 20-goal plateau three times in his career, Niederreiter steps into Carolina’s lineup already sitting in the team’s top-5 in scoring.
A first-round pick (fifth overall) of the New York Islanders in the 2010 NHL Draft, the Swiss winger has tallied 231 points (112g, 119a) in 498 career NHL games with the Islanders and the Wild.
Carolina’s second round selection (42nd overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, Rask leaves the Hurricanes with a career-to-date total of 163 points (63g, 100a) in 339 career games played with the organization.
“We’re excited to welcome a proven goal-scorer and veteran presence in Nino Niederreiter,” said Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell.
“We wish Victor the best moving forward and thank him for his efforts on the ice and in the community during his time in Raleigh.”