Chuck Fletcher has been a busy man in his first season as General Manager for the Minnesota Wild. He caused a few ripples by acquiring Chuck Kobasew from Boston last month, and picking up Andrew Ebbett off waivers on Saturday. On Monday, Fletcher made a splash by completing a deal with the Montreal Canadiens, acquiring LW Guillaume Latendresse
in exchange for C Benoit Pouliot.
Latendresse has scored at least 14 goals in each of his first three NHL seasons, but had struggled to find the net thus far this season. Through 23 games, he had picked up two goals and an assist.
"Guillaume is a young, talented forward who has averaged 15 goals in each of his first three NHL seasons," said Fletcher of the 22-year-old who checks in at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. "He will add size and a scoring punch to our roster."
The trade marks the first time that the Wild has traded one of its first round draft picks. Pouliot was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. His combination of size and speed caused scouts to drool over his potential, but Pouliot was never able to consistently thrive in a Wild uniform. Coming into this season, he had posted seven goals and seven assists in 51 games. Through 14 games this season, he had contributed two goals and two assists before suffering an upper body injury.
Latendresse and Pouliot were actually teammates on Canada's gold medal winning World Junior Championship team in 2006.