It looks like the Rangers have at least temporarily solved their surplus forward problem, as they have dealt Erik Christensen and a 7th round pick in 2012 to the Wild for Casey Wellman.
Christensen had been a spare part for the Rangers for a long time, and hadn’t played in a NHL game since December 17. The enigmatic and inconsistent center had once shown some chemsitry with Marian Gaborik, but that was short lived. His inconsistent effort quickly made him an afterthought in the Rangers organization.
Wellman is a 24 year old center who has played 41 games at the NHL level over the past three seasons, totaling four goals and nine assists for 13 points. Wellman was an undrafted free agent signed by the Wild after his senior season at UMass-Amherst, where he was a point-per-game player. Per Hockey Wilderness, it doesn’t appear that Wellman got a legitimate shot at the top six in Minnesota, and spent most of his time playing with Brad Staubitz on the third and fourth line.
Christensen was in his last year of a two year contract that paid him $925,000 per season. Wellman is in the final year of a two-way contract that pays him $850,500 at the NHL level. Wellman will be a RFA at the end of his contract.