Assessing Matt Dumba’s Trade Value And The Wild’s Options

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The Minnesota Wild have a clear lack of organizational depth at the center position. This isn’t a new thing, it has been like this for awhile now. It became increasingly evident this season.

To make matters worse, the Wild traded away Eric Staal, who is still a top-six center. They acquired Marcus Johansson and will try to utilize him at center, even though it was a failed experiment in Buffalo. They acquired Nick Bjugstad, who is currently a middle-six center. That leaves Joel Eriksson Ek as the only safe bet at center for the Wild next season with all the unknown variables in Johansson and Bjugstad.

If the Wild want any chance of acquiring a top-six center, their best asset is using defensemen Matt Dumba. The Wild inked Jonas Brodin to a seven-year contract extension and it has been reported that the Wild are close to signing group-six free agent Carson Soucy to a multi-year deal. All signs display Dumba is heading out of Minnesota.

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Dumba is reportedly being shopped for a top-six center. Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is not taking anything less and is standing his ground until he gets an offer he wants that he thinks will benefit the Wild.

What is Dumba’s trade value and what are the directions the Wild can go in a transaction for him? 

There are different directions the Wild can go. They may not necessarily be able to fetch a top-six center, it will depend on what teams want him and what they are willing to offer for the former first-round pick.

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If the quest for the center doesn’t work out, they could move him for future considerations, including draft capital and prospects or move him for a top-six forward as a last resort.

The 26-year-old right-handed defensemen is valuable due to his age, having term on a relatively good contract along with providing a right shot.

Dumba was on pace for nearly 30 goals before his season-ending pectoral injury that required surgery. He still hasn’t been able to find his game and a change of scenery is probably for the best.

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He is one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL, courtesy of his polarizing shot and physical style of play while his speed makes him extensively valuable. 

He has three years remaining on his contract at an annual average value of $6 million. It will be an interesting story to watch and whether he is moved in the offseason or not until next year.

He could also be protected in the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft if the Wild were to protect four defensemen, which is unlikely, but remains a possibility.

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Unless the Wild can obtain a top winger, Minnesota should wait until they can find a trade partner that involves a top-six center. Dumba is 26 and entering his prime and there should be no doubt about him being worth a top-six center. Depending on who it may be, the Wild may have to package him along with a pick and/or prospect to seal the deal.

If he is able to get back to the play level he was at before his injury, he will be a scary dynamic offensive threat on any NHL team.

For now, Bill Guerin will stay patient until a good value deal comes along.

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