The Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks have completed one of what might be two trades this week. The second is only being speculated but the first is now complete as Ryan Donato will be headed to San Jose for a 2021 third-round pick.
As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, “The 2021 third-round pick going to the Wild is Pittsburgh’s original pick which the Sharks received in exchange for Patrick Marleau at the trade deadline this past season.”
Donato, 24, tied for the Wild team lead with 14 even-strength goals last season but produced quite well for a forward who played mostly fourth-line minutes. If he’d stayed in Minnesota he was unlikely to get an better look thanks to recent trades, signings and promotions, including the arrival of Kirill Kaprizov. Donato will head to the Sharks where he’ll get a chance to see more ice time and elevate his game.
Related: Deal to Send Devan Dubnyk to San Jose Close?
Donato was acquired by the Wild from the Boston Bruins and scored 15 points in his first 15 games with the team. Just a few days later, the team sort of took his sails out from under him when the organization acquired Kevin Fiala, then signed Mats Zuccarello as a free agent. Donato was moved down the depth chart as a result.
He never really got his mojo back and wound up being scratched from the lineup a number of times. According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, Donato was actually told by GM Bill Guerin that he couldn’t really explain why Donato’s ice time was being so limited. and admitted “maybe he should have stepped in and made clear that the coaches didn’t have to feel compelled to give other players a bigger role just because they might be a vet with a big contract or the home-grown draft pick.”
Donato will get the chance now to prove that the Wild coaches were wrong to essentially ignore his early results.
Is Devan Dubnyk Next to Go?
One of the interesting things about this trade was that it was believed it might happen part of a bigger deal that would include goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Whispers are that he too is headed to San Jose.
We’ll have to keep our eyes on that one.
Next: Are the Wild Asking Too Much for Matt Dumba?
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