Before the hustle and bustle of the 2024 NHL Draft and free agency begins next week, the Minnesota Wild have completed a transfer to begin assembling their entire team for the 2024–25 season.

As the team announced on Friday morning, the Wild have traded Adam Beckman to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for winger Graeme Clarke.

Parting ways with Beckman appears to be a significant move for the Wild. The former 2019 third-round pick was close to playing full-time in the NHL but had been constantly bouncing back and forth between Iowa and St. Paul. We've been following him since he scored over 100 points in the WHL before becoming a solid, professional hockey player.

Beckman, 23, is a restricted free agent this summer and needed a new contract, but instead he is being traded for another RFA player and someone the exact same age.

In exchange for Beckman, the Wild get a player who apparently held the same position as him on the Devils, but actually played at a higher level.

Clarke, a former 2019 third-round pick – funny how things like that add up – is smaller than Beckman, but still stands 6'0″ and weighs 175 pounds. But despite being smaller, Clarke scored 25 goals and 49 points for the Utica Comets last AHL season (about 0.09 points more per game than Beckman) and has already scored 25 goals and 58 points in the 2022-23 season.

He has less NHL experience than Beckman, as Clarke only played three point-less games last NHL season, but the difference is so small that it shouldn't matter.

What's special about Clarke is that, although he played his entire junior career in Ontario and his family is from Canada – like his brother Brandt, the Los Angeles Kings' top talent – he was born in Waconia, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. He's not from here, but he kind of is.

This trade certainly gives two 23-year-old wingers a new home and a new chance with another team. Neither may be more than solid backups, but they at least deserve another chance.

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