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Penguins-Wild Make Minor League Swap

Photo courtesy of The Hockey News.

The Pittsburgh Penguins traded defenseman Will Butcher to the Minnesota Wild for forward Maxim Cajkovic.

Butcher was signed by the Penguins over the summer to help supply some depth in the organization. An undisclosed injury during training camp kept him from playing until being cleared in November. 

Butcher, who is known as an offensive defenseman, started his career with New Jersey and was a productive scorer for the Devils. In his first 2 seasons with New Jersey, he scored a total of 74 points but was also a -17 in year two. 

Butcher does not add much to the defensive side of the game and was basically brought in to fill in for Letang or Karlsson if they were to go down with an injury. He did not get to suit up for the Penguins this season, playing 14 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and totaling 3 goals and 4 assists. 

For Minnesota, he will once again be used as a depth piece to help the Wild’s backend, which has already lost Jared Spurgeon for the season. 

Draft Nation Stats– Butcher was a 5th round draft pick by Colorado in 2013 who went unsigned. He was a collegiate free agent signing by New Jersey in 2017 out of the University of Denver

Maxim Cajkovic, a 23-year-old right wing, has 13 goals and 8 assists in 25 games this season for the Wild, splitting time between the AHL and the ECHL. He was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning and traded to the Minnesota Wild in a deal that brought the Lightning Pat Maroon. He has had some productive seasons in the minor leagues including 10 goals and 17 assists for the Orlando Solar Bears in 2022-2023. 

Cajkovic represents a bit of a lottery ticket that Pens GM Kyle Dubas hopes to hit on. The Penguins' organization lacks forward prospects and Cajkovic will most likely start off playing in the ECHL for the Wheeling Nailers. 

Draft Nation Stats- 3rd round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019. 

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