Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/3/13
The Minnesota Wild weren't eager to dip into their highly touted farm system, but apparently couldn't pass up the chance when they acquired Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville before Wednesday's trade deadline. Multiple reports say Minnesota sent two prospects, goaltender Matt Hackett and forward Johan Larsson, to Buffalo for Pominville, who has at least 20 goals each of the last six seasons. An exchange of draft picks is also reportedly part of the deal, but specific picks haven't been announced. Pominville, 30, has 10 goals and 15 assists in 37 games for the Sabres this season. Buffalo, which fired longtime coach Lindy Ruff earlier this season, is 12th in the Eastern Conference this season and has traded defensemen Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr in the past week. Hackett, 23, and Larsson, 20, were prized pieces of a Minnesota system that was ranked No. 3 by The Hockey News in their annual "Future Watch" edition in March. Hackett was ranked No. 5 in the Wild's system followed by Larsson at No. 6. Larsson, one of three second-round picks by Minnesota in 2010, made his NHL debut this season after coming over from his native Sweden. He played one game in February before returning to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. He had 15 goals and 22 assists in 62 games for Houston this season and wasn't recently recalled by the Wild with Matt Cullen injured. Hackett, a third-round pick in 2009, has played in one game for Minnesota this season as the backup to Niklas Backstrom. He allowed five goals in a loss last week at Dallas. Hackett made his NHL debut last season, playing in 12 games with a 3-6-0 record, 2.37 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. In 43 games with the Aeros this season, Hackett had a 2.66 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. But when Minnesota needed a goaltender earlier this season, Hackett had appeared to be passed by in the pecking order by Darcy Kuemper, who has a 1.88 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and four shutouts this season. Kuemper, 22, received the first call-up between the two coveted netminders. Kuemper, a sixth-round draft pick in 2010, has a 2.22 goals-against average and .924 save percentage with the Wild this season. One reason, Minnesota probably agreed to the high price in prospects to acquire Pominville is because he is signed through the 2013-14 season. He has 185 goals and 271 assists in his 9-year career. A strong two-way forward, Pominville was fifth in the NHL in takeaways (33) heading into games on April 2. He led all Buffalo forwards in ice time (20:57) and power-play time on ice (3:50). Pominville also adds a right-handed shot for Minnesota's power-play, which ranks 18th in the league. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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