Sooner or later we will all have this happen. Except maybe Kyle and Anthony who seemingly win every trade. But for us normies, sometimes you make moves to push your team despite your better judgment. Sometimes it works out and you look like a genius. Other times you should have listened to your instinct and feel stupid after. This is one of those times.

2021-03-04 Los Angeles Kings trade Joonas Donskoi to Minnesota Wild for NYI 2021 Rnd 2 and LOS 2022 Rnd 3

At the time of the trade Minnesota was in the playoff hunt. Donskoi was scoring in the NHL at a pace he never had before. He had 63 PA, 60 PC, 78 DF, 64 SC. Ratings that would have given a nice punch to my team's 2nd or 3rd line gearing up for the playoffs. Going against the rule of buying high, I took the chance on Donskoi. Even though the leader of the good lads in Los Angeles made it seem like interest was high on Donkoi and wanted to wait before pulling the trigger, I knew nobody would offer a 2+3 and felt confident I'd get him. After some time passed, we finalized the deal. I paid a high price for an average player playing at his peak but I needed the offensive boost.

In 24 games playing for Minny that season, Donskoi scored 6 goals and 10 points with an unsustainable 22% shooting percentage. As the team began to crumble down the stretch and limp to the playoffs, Donskoi contributed a whopping 0 points in 6 playoffs games. 

Having RFA rights, he was re-signed to a 2 year deal at 1.6 million AAV. 

The 21-22 season was a write-off with Minnesota terrible from beginning to end. He did contribute 19 goals and 42 points in a full 82 game season getting spoonfed lots of minutes as other players were traded away.

As his offensive ratings continued to drop below 60, matching his NHL slide in offense, his value dissipated faster than a silent fart in a big room. But the smell lingered. He was demoted to a 4th line role to start the 22-23 season but as the Wild revamped their bottom 6 to include more physical players by signing Archibald and putting a claim on Caggiula, Donskoi didn't belong there either. And at 1.6 million the writing was on the wall.

He went through waivers the first time around. But with recent management changes in the big apple, Donskoi had been claimed by the new guy.

End result: Donskoi as a member of the Wild had been a failure and the GM learned to trust his instinct just a tad bit more. The two picks traded for Donskoi ended up being:

NYI 2021 Rnd 2 = Josh Doan

LOS 2022 Rnd 3 was eventually moved again to Florida = Michael Fisher

The inspiration for this article came from a recent trade discussion where the asking price on a bottom 6 player gave me similar vibes to the Donskoi trade. You know who you are!


Article: 23/5

'Show me the money' bonus: $4,500,000 / $10,000,000