New York Islanders Top Unrestricted Free Agent Targets
Minnesota Wild: Martin Hanzal
He’s big, standing 6’6″ and 226lbs and he doesn’t mind hitting. He’s the grit and sandpaper crowd’s poster child. And he can score.
Last season with Arizona, Hanzal scored 26 points in 51 games. Which resulted in the Minnesota Wild paying a king’s ransom for the center.
Chuck Fletcher sent Grayson Downing, the Wild’s first-round pick in 2017, their second-round in 2018, and a conditional fourth in 2018 to acquire Hanzal, Ryan White and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
Hanzal would put up 13 points in 20 regular season games, but in the playoffs, he put up a single goal as the Wild fell in the first round to the St. Louis Blues. That’s not what the Wild wanted out of the big center.
They wanted him to help them make a deep run and maybe get to the Conference Finals for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Now the Wild don’t have their first-round pick, and a player that they don’t seem to want. The Wild’s owner has even come out to say he wished the team hadn’t made the trade. Talk about not feeling welcome.
Strength: He’s big, like really big. He’s got good faceoff numbers if that’s your thing, with an average 56% success rate between Arizona and Minnesota last season. And a career average of 51.9%.
Weakness: His size. He’s slow. He clears room in the offensive zone with his size but has hard time creating that same space with his play off the puck.