Which Team Came Out on Top?


On June 24th, 2011, the Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks made a blockbuster trade on the 2011 NHL Draft floor.

The Sharks acquired one of the top defensemen in the league, while the Wild got assets that they hoped would quickly turn around their franchise. It was a gamble for Minnesota however, as they were giving up a developed all-star for still developing youngsters.

The Brent Burns Trade

The Minnesota Wild traded Brent Burns and a 2012 2nd round pick to the San Jose Sharks in return for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and a 2011 1st round pick.

Brent Burns left Minnesota as their top defenceman and one of the best all around defensemen in the NHL. He came with a hard shot and an ability to both calmly shut down opportunities or destroy his opponent with a body check. He topped 40 points twice with the Wild, with a career high 46 in his last season. He also came with the ability to play both as a forward or a defenceman, although he always played defence with the Wild. The Sharks also acquired a 2nd round pick, which was traded three times eventually to Nashville, who selected Pontus Aberg.

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports), Brent Burns Trade

Charlie Coyle has become a very effective power forward with the Wild and is continuing to improve. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Minnesota got Devin Setoguchi, a first round pick in 2005 who had scored 31, 20 and 21 goals in his last three seasons, respectively. At just 24 years old he looked like a consistent 20-goal scorer who could be a second liner with Minnesota. Charlie Coyle was a first round pick the year before and looked destined to become a solid power forward with good offensive production. The Wild also got a first round pick in 2011, which they selected Zack Phillips with.

Where Did the Brent Burns Trade End Up?

Brent Burns has turned into one of San Jose’s top players since arriving in NorCal. He set career highs in both goals and points in 2013-14 with 22 and 68, respectively. He’s looking to set career best marks again this season as he’s currently on pace for 22 goals and 60 points. He’s split time playing both defence and wing for the Sharks, although he’s played the blue line nearly the entire 2014-15 season. He was also invited to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game this year. Their draft pick, who ended up being Pontus Aberg to Nashville, is currently in his first year in the AHL playing for Milwaukee.

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports), Brent Burns trade

Brent Burns now looks more like a caveman, and is also racking up the points since heading to San Jose. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Devin Setoguchi played two years in Minnesota, scoring 32 goals and 31 assists in 117 games. He failed to continue to develop into the player they expected him to become, and actually seemed to regress. The Wild then traded him to Winnipeg in exchange for a 2014 2nd round pick, which was later traded to Buffalo in the Matt Moulson trade and then to Washington, who finally selected goalie Vitek Vanecek. Setoguchi is currently playing for the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate. Charlie Coyle has turned into an everyday 3rd liner for Minnesota. He is a solid power forward who is still improving on his offence. He has 28 points in 59 games this season and 68 in 166 career games. Zack Phillips is a similar type of player as Coyle. He is currently in his third AHL season, with 15 points in 49 games this year.

Who Won the Brent Burns Trade?

Although both teams have found their own success from this trade, I’d have to give the edge to the San Jose Sharks. Burns has gone on to further improve his offensive game, setting career bests in points twice already and also offering the Sharks some insurance with his availability on the blue line and up front. Meanwhile, Charlie Coyle hasn’t been able to offer quite as much scoring as the Wild may have hoped for, not to take away from his success in his role as a power forward and his continued improvement. Although it’s a very slight edge, the Sharks came out on top of this Brent Burns trade.

This article was originally published in February, 2015.

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