SPORTS

Sabres send Jason Pominville to Wild

04/03/2013 04:27 EDT | Updated 06/03/2013 05:12 EDT
Minnesota has added some offensive punch as it tries to create separation atop the NHL’s Northwest Division standings.

Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher dealt goalie Matt Hackett along with forward and fellow prospect Johan Larsson, a 2013 first-round draft pick and 2014 second-rounder to Buffalo for right-winger Jason Pominville and a 2014 fourth-round selection prior to Wednesday’s trade deadline.

Pominville has scored 10 goals and 23 points in 36 games this season for a Sabres team that entered play Wednesday in 12th place (14-17-6) in the Eastern Conference.

The 30-year-old had 30 goals and 73 points last season and should boost a Wild offence led by centre Mikko Koivu (33 points) and left-winger Zach Parise (30).

"Heck of a player," said Parise of Pominville to reporters as he left the ice at Wednesday's morning skate. The two played on the same line at the 2008 world hockey championship in Halifax.

"He works hard," Parise said later on of his new teammate. "You just look at the way he's been used, he plays power play, penalty kill, reliable, but he puts pucks in the net, he makes plays."

Pominville of Repentigny, Que., who had a limited no-trade clause, has an annual salary cap hit of $5.3 million US with one year remaining on his contract.

Hackett and Larsson were pulled from the ice at the start of Wednesday's skate.

The 23-year-old Hackett, drafted 77th overall in 2009, had a 3-7 record and 2.64 goals-against average in two years with Minnesota.

He has appeared in 43 games for the American Hockey League's Houston Aeros this season, going 19-20-3 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.

Larsson, a 20-year-old left-winger, was a second-round draft pick of the Wild in 2010 who captained Sweden to a gold medal at the world junior championship in January 2012 and made his NHL debut on Feb. 17 against Detroit.

The Swedish Elite League's top rookie in 2012, he has recorded 37 points on 15 goals and 22 assists in 62 games for the Aeros this season.

Minnesota and Vancouver sit atop the Northwest with 44 points. The 21-12-2 Wild have played one fewer game than the Canucks (19-11-6).

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