The Minnesota Wild have made a trade with the St. Louis Blues just days before the two face each other in the 2022 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
Announced by the team on Wednesday morning, the Wild have acquired forward Nolan Stevens for forward Will Bitten.
Stevens, 25, has been battling through the AHL for the last four seasons ever since leading Northeastern University and captaining in his last collegiate year. The Blues’ fifth-round pick in 2016 has 12 points in 20 games so far for the Springfield Thunderbirds.
On the other end, Bitten was originally acquired by the Wild from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Gustav Olofsson and has been in Iowa for the last four seasons. This season, he just has eight points in 23 games — a disappointing drop-off after scoring 19 in 31 games last season.
Although Bitten is two years younger than Stevens, the newest member of the Wild organization is most likely more of a sure thing and a forward that can serve a little bit higher on the depth chart. In the end, this doesn’t really mean a whole lot for the first team, but at least Iowa gets some jump and potential scoring punch compared to a post-hype prospect that was not really doing a whole lot to begin with.
At least we got a transaction after the holiday roster freeze.