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Wild trade Vinni Lettieri and pick to Bruins for Jakub Lauko


Wild trade Vinni Lettieri and pick to Bruins for Jakub Lauko

LAS VEGAS — The Minnesota Wild traded right wing Vinni Lettieri back to the Boston Bruins on Saturday along with the 110th pick in the draft in exchange for 24-year-old left wing Jakub Lauko and the 122nd pick.

Lauko, drafted at No. 77 in 2018, scored two goals and 10 points in 60 games for the Bruins last season and has 17 points in 83 career games. He has one year left on his contract at $787,500.

Lettieri, 29, had five goals and four assists in 46 games. He has one year left on his $775,000 two-way contract with a $550,000 guarantee.

The Bruins selected Elliott Groenewold from Cedar Rapids RoughRiders with the 110th pick.

The Wild selected HIFK’s Aron Kiviharju with the 122nd pick.

Wild analysis

Lauko is a hard-nosed, quality-skating, north-south energy guy that Wild president of hockey operations and general manager Bill Guerin hopes will help the Wild reestablish some of their gritty identity in the bottom six. He plays a hard, heavy style — something Wild fans may remember last season when he beat Connor Dewar in a scrap.

The move leaves the Wild with $5,999,746 cap space heading into the offseason. — Michael Russo

Bruins analysis

Lauko was a healthy scratch for eight of the Bruins’ 13 playoff games. He lost the confidence of coach Jim Montgomery because of his inconsistent play as a forechecker and agitating presence. During the regular season, Anthony Richard and Justin Brazeau were among the AHL callups who took some of Lauko’s shifts.

Lauko once projected to be a fourth-line fixture with the ability to play both wings and move up on occasion. He surprised himself and the Bruins by making the roster out of camp in 2022-23.

Internally, Trevor Kuntar, who is entering his second pro season, could be in the pipeline to replace Lauko on the fourth line. Ditto for Riley Duran, who is a right shot starting his first full pro year.

Lettieri should be a depth forward. He was limited to one appearance during his first tour with the Bruins in 2022-23. Lettieri sprained his ankle during his first Bruins recall. — Fluto Shinzawa

(Photo of Jakub Lauko: Rich Gagnon / Getty Images)

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