Buffalo Sabres Trade Captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota Wild

By Matt Clouden

The Land of 1,000 Lakes just got its third big-time name this season.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville was traded to the Minnesota Wild along with a fourth round pick in 2014 for RW Johan Larsson, G Matt Hackett, a 2013 first rounder and a 2014 second rounder.

That haul was confirmed by Gord Miller of TSN and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune just a few minutes ago.

Pominville joins the Wild who are currently tied atop the Western Conference’s Northwest Division with the Vancouver Canucks.

Larsson and Hackett have played for the Wild’s AHL affiliate Houston Aeros this season. Larsson has played 62 games, notching 37 points even though offense is not necessarily what he is known for. Hackett has a respectable 2.66 goal average in 43 games and has been solid in a few relief appearances at the NHL level.

While many Sabres fans may be disappointed that long-time Sabre player Pominville has been traded, getting a package that essentially equates to four top prospects is an extremely good return. Larsson may not be the scoring wing that Pominville is, but he also has the two-way game the Sabres seem starved for right now.

Hackett is the interesting piece. Despite some unreliable sources saying Ryan Miller’s name was being tossed around as the day progressed, the fact that a top-tier goaltending prospect was brought in certainly may be a way to prepare for a Miller-less future.

So, despite there possibly being more questions than answers right now, one thing is for sure: The Sabres have a stupid amount of top-60 picks the next three years. Just like last season, the Sabres enter June’s draft with two first rounders and two second rounders. Next year they have three second rounders — and any Miller trade would certainly include a first rounder — as well as two second rounders in the fold for 2015.

With that many top picks and a lot of the Sabres’ prospects likely being ready in the next season or two, it seems that the rebuild may not be as drawn out as many had thought.

Follow me on Twitter for NHL and Sabres news all season: @SwordPlay18.

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