Minnesota Wild Offseason Trade Targets: Centers

While the Minnesota Wild continue to deal with a lot of cap space being eaten up the next two seasons, it will be cheaper for them cap-wise to target a top-six centerman in a trade rather than overpaying for one in free agency. While it's fair game in free agency, a great deal of teams can put their name in the hat for certain players and they end up being overpaid more likely than not for the long-term. The Wild need a short-term solution and there are much better options via trade than in free agency this season.

Mark Scheifele

The Winnipeg Jets may very well alter their roster significantly this offseason after a disappointing end to the season. They have a number of players with one or two years remaining on their deals and Pierre-Luc Dubois should already be on the move, but that's not who the Wild should target. Instead, Mark Scheifele has been a point-per-game player for each of the past six seasons before this one. But instead of getting a ton of points, he set a career high in goals and is paid just $6.125 million for one more season.

Elias Lindholm

The Calgary Flames might be in the same boat as the Winnipeg Jets as there are a number of key players with one year remaining on their deals, Elias Lindholm being one of them. He is also a point-producing centerman, but is very good at both ends of the ice. The Wild are a strong defensive team and if they could somehow get Lindholm and Joel Eriksson Ek as their top two centers, opponents will have very tough matchups to deal with. Lindholm is massively underpaid with one year left at $4.85 million.

Kevin Hayes

At first glance, Kevin Hayes is paid more than the first two centers here, but his cap hit will be reduced greatly in a trade. The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to move their top players and go through a rebuild, meaning Hayes should be on his way out. He also doesn't mesh with head coach John Tortorella who appears to be sticking around for a while. Hayes produced a good deal of points this season and although he isn't as good as Scheifele or Lindholm, he is strong defensively and is signed for three more seasons, making it appealing if his cap hit could get down to $5 million or less.

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