Wild Trade Pouliot for Latendresse

Yesterday the Wild traded Benoit Pouliot to the Montreal Canadiens for winger Guilluame Latendresse.

Faceoffs at shoulder height?  He’s your man.

According to Behind the Net, Latendresse has had a bit of an offensive outage this season.  The Canadiens score at a rate of 1.0 G/60 with him on the ice in 5 on 5 situations (opposed to 2.2 G/60 when he’s on the bench).  Part of that is sample size, and part is playing with the bottom line, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up playing for Minnesota.  Last season, with more quality teammates surrounding him, Latendresse was much better in this regard (2.6 G/60 on the ice, 2.1 G/60 off the ice).

Using the Corsi rating system (again from Behind the Net, Corsi considers shots on goal instead of only goals), Latendresse has been one of the top 3 or 4 wingers on Montreal in the past two seasons with more consistency than with the straight G/60 numbers.  It seems like he could be a solid winger, but probably not going to be a pure scorer (the one goal so far this season is another indicator in that direction).

With the trade of Pouliot the Wild have let all of the top 5 picks in franchise history (2 – Gaborik and Pouliot) go since the end of last season. Overall I have this move as a push or a slight win for the Wild, but man it hurts when you have so few high picks to not have them turn into anything other than second or third line wingers.

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