The New York Rangers traded forward Erik Christensen and a conditional 7th round draft pick in 2013 to the Minnesota Wild for forward Casey Wellman, who will be immediately assigned to the minors.
The move was announced around noon by the Rangers via their official Facebook page.
Christensen, a depth forward, will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season barring a contract extension with the Minnesota Wild. He had five points in only 20 games with the Rangers this season.
This will be Christensen’s fifth team in his short NHL career, with previous stops in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Anaheim and most recently with the Rangers. His most productive season came in 2006-07 when he split time between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the AHL. Christensen posted 18 goals and added 15 assists for 33 points in 61 games with the Penguins that season. He contributed 11 goals and 16 assists for the Rangers last season in 63 games.
The move could be the first of many for both teams, as the Rangers are rumored to be looking to add offensive depth to their roster before the trade deadline. This could be tricky as the Rangers only have a little bit of wiggle room with roughly $1 million in available cap space. Christensen’s contract frees up another $925,000, and more moves could be on the way to help free up space.
While not a huge move, Chistensen gives Minnesota some depth and could be a signal that the Wild, who are currently clinging to the 8th and final playoff seed in the Western Conference, could be buyers at the trade deadline as they look to secure a playoff berth. There have been suggestions that the Wild could look to deal defenseman Marek Zidlicky before the trade deadline as well.