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Wild trade Nino Niederreiter to Hurricanes for Victor Rask

Nino Niederreiter had played for the Wild since 2013. | AP Photo/Jim Mone

The Wild shook up their forward group by trading winger Nino Niederreiter to the Hurricanes for center Victor Rask on Thursday. The trade was officially announced by both teams.

Rask, 25, is signed through the 2021-22 season at a $4 million cap hit, per Cap Friendly. Niederreiter is signed through the same term at a $5.25 million cap hit, so the Wild add some long-term cap flexibility as part of the deal.

Minnesota parts with Niederreiter less than two years after signing him to a significant five-year extension. The forward was coming off a career-high 25 goals and 57 points during the 2016-17 season and seemed to be trending upward as he entered his mid-20s. However, his production dipped to just 32 points in 63 games last season, and he’s continued producing at a similar rate with 23 points in 46 games this season.

Still, those numbers are better than the Hurricanes got this season from Rask, who posted just five points in 26 games. The center recorded 48 points in 2015-16 and 45 points in 2016-17, but his total dipped to 31 points in 71 games last season. He also stood out in a bad way this season for posting a 46.9 percent even strength Corsi on a team that’s otherwise dominated in that area.

The Wild appear to be hoping that a change-of-scenery will do Rask some good, and he can also play center. The lower cap hit assuredly played a factor in their decision-making as well.