The Nashville Predators decided to swap Kevin Fiala for Mikael Granlund at the NHL Trade Deadline, but did they win the trade?
The simple answer, yes. The Nashville Predators acquired Mikael Granlund, who is a very reliable top-six forward that can get you 60+ points per year while swapping out Kevin Fiala, a younger forward who hasn’t shown much offensive upside, other than his 48 point season last year.
Granlund has hit the 20 goal plateau twice in his career, and is on pace to do so for his third straight season, and has also been close to the 70 point mark twice, including 69 in 2016-17.
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Granlund is more of a pass-first winger, a guy who would fit perfectly next to the likes of Filip Forsberg, P.K. Subban, Viktor Arvidsson, and Roman Josi, as he can set up his new teammates for many goals. He hit the 40 assist mark in the past two seasons, and he is on pace to reach it again this season as well.
Granlund can also play center, so he can be very versatile for the Predators and can fill in if Ryan Johansen or Kyle Turris get injured down the stretch, which is never a bad thing for the Nashville Predators.
Granlund remains under contract until the end of the 2020-21 season on a team-friendly $5.75 Million Dollar deal, which means he is more than just a rental. He is also still 27 years old and he is just entering his prime and is poised for more great seasons ahead of him.
The man he was traded for, Kevin Fiala, is 22 years old, drafted 11th overall in the 2014 draft, has had three full seasons for the Nashville Predators, scoring 45 goals and 97 points in 204 games as a Nashville Predator.
He hasn’t shown much offensive potential yet, and with the Predators needing to find an immediate source of offense, the Preds had to pull the trigger immediately.
Fiala still has potential to be a very good player in this league, but Mikael Granlund can offer the Predators more in the present day, which is why I like this trade for them. Granlund can help out the Preds slumping power play and rejuvenate the offense, alongside another new arrival Wayne Simmonds.
All-in-all, I would grade this trade an A, as the Predators addressed a huge need, while only giving up a younger roster player. Minnesota Wild fans don’t have anything to be upset about either, because I think this trade mutually benefits both sides.