The Minnesota Wild made a trade on Wednesday, sending former Minnesota Mr. Hockey Justin Kloos to the Anaheim Ducks for 25-year-old forward Pontus Aberg, and the hockey community loves the deal.
Gone is Kloos, the former Lakeville South Mr. Hockey and star Golden Gopher, who has racked up nearly a point per game in the American Hockey League with the Iowa Wild this season. His 30 points in 34 games was enticing enough for the free-falling Ducks to give the Wild Pontus Aberg.
So what's Aberg's story?
He's a 25-year-old winger with a right-shot and is having a career season with 11 goals and eight assists in 37 games. Not exactly jaw-dropping numbers, but the highlight video below will give you an idea of why everyone seems so excited about him.
His numbers don't blow you away, but his speed and skill as an offensive player do.
"He possesses the type of speed and skill that gives opposing defenders pause before engaging him whenever the puck is on his stick. He is a highlight waiting to happen," wrote Jordan Samuels-Thomas of The Athletic in a late-November breakdown on Aberg.
But it's impossible to overlook why teams keep giving up on a relatively young, highly skilled, former second-round pick. Nasvhille traded him to Edmonton in February 2018, and Edmonton waived him in September.
Even the Ducks, who claimed him on Oct. 1, placed him back on waivers only to watch him go unclaimed.
The issue, it appears, with Aberg is that he has yet to be a consistent player at the NHL level, and his compete level on the defensive end has been questioned, as evidenced by the fact that he was benched by Ducks coach Randy Carlyle and hadn't played since Dec. 27.
Still, read the comments in the Ducks' tweet announcing the trade and you'll find a ton of angry Ducks fans.
Aberg will be on a line with Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle in his Wild debut Thursday night, which is, ironically, against the Ducks.