The day before the 2011 NHL entry draft, Devin Setoguchi signed a three-year contract with the San Jose Sharks. Draft day showed up and Setoguchi was unexpectedly traded to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Brent Burns.
“No, not at all,” Setoguchi told the media on Monday when asked if he had any inkling that he’d be traded. “I was just more excited that I signed the new contract. And then the next day you get shipped off. But that’s the way it is. That’s sports. You can never get too comfortable and things happen for a reason. They wanted me here and I want to be here. I want to be a big part to this team and help out. I’m excited to be here and get a fresh start.”
“This is the first one that I didn’t know was coming, so that is different. But from the point of just a new team and new excitement, I think it’s the same. This is Seto’s first time (being traded). I’ve been traded a few times. There’s kind of a sense of a fresh start. There’s a bit of excitement. He’s excited and so am I.”
In an instant, Setoguchi and Heatley were shipped from a perennial Cup contender to a team that has missed the postseason the last three seasons. But for a team like the Wild—a scoring deprived franchise since their inception in 2000—Setoguchi and Heatley have also gone from playing in the shadows of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau to the faces of the franchise in Minnesota.
Setoguchi’s 22 goals last season, along with Heatley’s 26, will give the Wild an instant boost on offense. The other bright side for the Wild is that Setoguchi is only 24 and still has yet to reach his full potential in the league. Heatley may now be 30, but he is a two-time 50-goal scorer, something that the Wild have never had the luxury of having.
The Wild are still not in a position to make a Cup run, but Setoguchi and Heatley should be excited at the prospect of being the new leaders of a franchise on the rise.