On the eve of the 2017 NHL Player Entry Draft, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher reportedly may be trying to trade one of his defensemen that he went out of his way to protect just last week.
Fletcher convinced the Vegas Golden Knights to steer clear of Marco Scandella and Matt Dumba – two coveted defenseman he was forced to leave exposed for the expansion draft.
But with Scandella and Dumba still on the roster, TSN's Bob McKenzie says he expects Fletcher to attempt to trade one of them before or during Friday night's Draft.
What a return for Scandella would yield is yet to be seen, but the Wild could use both a draft pick and cap relief. The team is currently without a pick in the first round.
Additionally, trading Scandella and his lucrative contract would free up over $4 million in the team's cap space each of the next three seasons. That cash could come in handy when it comes to extending some of the younger talent on the roster due for new deals, a la Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund.
“That’s what we’ll go through now. We’re open to both avenues. We just want to improve our team," Fletcher told the Star Tribune's Wild beat writer Michael Russo. "We have a good team. It ended much quicker than what we wanted, and we’re just trying to find a way to be playing much later in the spring next year.”
The NHL Draft coverage starts at 6 p.m. central time Friday on NBC Sports Network.