The Minnesota Wild made a significant trade last night, sending forward Craig Weller, prospect Alexander Fallstrom and their second round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to the Boston Bruins for winger Chuck Kobasew.

Chuck Kobasew

Kobasew is an interesting player. To start with, he’s madly inconsistent, starting hot and hitting slumps or, as is the case this year, starting cold. He plays with an edge, but he’s not big enough to play a real power forward game. Kobasew played low-quality competition last season, but he did start a lot in the defensive zone . He put up a lot of points relative to ice-time (2.27 PTS/60) on a very good team, but the entire Boston squad last season finished well in that department. One other item of particular interest: among Bruins forwards, Kobasew was ranked second last in Corsi in 2007-08 (Petteri Nokelainen was worse). He finished dead last in 2008-09. He’s ranked last again this year. I know not everybody buys into Corsi, but there’s no way to convince me that getting outshot that badly – three years running – is the mark of a good player.

The Guys Going the Other Way

Craig Weller didn’t make the Wild out of camp this season; he has played five games for their AHL affiliate in Houston, recording one assist and a minus-two rating. Weller has size, plays a physical game and is willing to drop the gloves. That said, he isn’t blessed with an over-abundance of talent, cleared waivers at the start of the season, and while he may serve as depth for the big club he’s probably going to spend most of the season in Providence.

Fallstrom was the Wild’s fourth-round pick in the last draft, a Swedish right winger who came over to play at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Jack Barzee, with Central Scouting had this to say about him:

“I felt Alex was a good player last year but he was in the shadow of [David] Toews and [David] Carle at Shattuck, and behind those guys in development. But Alex went back home and worked hard off the ice, got bigger and stronger and now he’s able to carry the puck a lot longer. I’d be shocked if he isn’t taken between the third and sixth rounds, because he’s a player who has improved in every aspect that much.”

Meanwhile, Gare Joyce passed along this bit:

Skating is brittle. Saw him a couple of times. Decent player. A highly intelligent kid (on the Shattuck entrance exam he registered the second-highest score ever for a foreign kid whose first language wasn’t English). Comes from big money. Might not be a hugely driven kid. I like him as a middle-rounder.

All of which means that the second round pick is the most valuable piece coming back to Boston in this trade – unless the Bruins have big plans for the $2.33-million in cap space they just cleared.

Comments (5)

  1. Depending on how the season goes, the Bruins will likely flip one of the many 1st/2nd rounders they have for some veteran help at the trade deadline and make a run for the cup.

    The picks are nice – especially if the Leafs continue to bomb – but the Bruins aren’t building for the future; they’re in win-now mode.

    The freed up cap space will also help with the re-signing of Savard, if they choose to do so.

  2. sure seems like chiarelli has a knack for getting people to overpay. with burke acting so cool you’d have to assume that there’s a kaberle for some draft picks at the deadline between the leafs and boston?

  3. If Chiarelli isn’t considered one of they best GM’s in the NHL right now then he should very well be in that group. In the last few months he got rid of a player another team over payed for both money and trade wise. And now dumps another guy that wasn’t all that essential to the Bruins success. Getting a decent prospect, an okay reserve forward and a 2nd round pick. All the while freeing up 2+ mil in cap space for some acquisitions at the deadline to get the Bruins over that rather large hump in the East.

  4. @Devon

    If you’re talking about Phil Kessel, I wouldn’t say 5.4 mil for a 42 goal scorer is an overpayment, considering there’s several players out there (Jason Blake, Fisher from Ottawa, Dustin Penner) who make similar cash but don’t come close to putting up the numbers Phil does. The 2 1st rounders made it a good deal for both teams, as long as Kessel lives up to expectations in Toronto.

  5. Dan, Kessel put up 36 goals one year and thats it. Remember Penner after scoring 29 goals and then getting paid. He’s just waking up from his slumber now and its been at least 3 years.

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