Fantasy Impact: The Minnesota Wild traded forward Casey Wellman to the New York Rangers on Friday for center Erik Christensen and a conditional seventh-round draft choice.
The Rangers Get: A center that has been unable to garner any significant playing time for the Wild, but has performed well in the AHL. Wellman appeared in 12 games for the Wild in 2009-10, 15 in 2011 and has seen action in 14 games in 2011-12. He has just 13 career NHL points, but has managed almost a point per game this year (24 points in 25 games) for Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Houston. The 24-year-old Wellman went undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and was signed as a free agent by the Wild in 2007. His fantasy upside is limited.
The Wild Get: Depth at the forward position, as well as someone who is adept at scoring in the shootout (Christensen is 24-for-46 for his career). The 28-year-old Christensen scored 18 goals for Pittsburgh in 2006-07, his second year in the league. However, he has failed to score more than 11 in any season since that campaign. Christensen, a 2002 third-round pick by Pittsburgh, will play for his fifth organization since breaking into the league in 2005-06. He has just just five points in 20 games this season and has been a disappointment in his time in New York.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Minnesota seemed destined to make some sort of move, as the Wild have been forced to deal with a rash of injuries to their forward corps. Mikko Koivu has been out since mid-January with a shoulder injury, Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been out with concussion-like symptoms since early January, and Guillaume Latendresse has been out of the lineup since mid-December with post-concussion issues. The acquisition of Christensen may mean Minnesota intends to keep Bouchard and Latendresse on the shelf for awhile, if not for the rest of the season.
It seems likely the Rangers felt the need to swap Christensen (a potentially useful player they couldn’t find time for on the ice), for Wellman (a younger player and someone better suited for more time in the AHL). The Rangers have a deep forward corps, and there simply isn’t a ton of ice time for another NHL-level player at this point.
Players This Helps (in order):
- Christensen (a player who can see time at center and wing and can address Minnesota’s lack of forward depth)
- Wellman (a change of scenery, if nothing else)
Players This Hurts (in order):
- Bouchard (out for an extended period time or season?)
- Latendresse (out for extended period of time or season?)