Avalanche make a trade with Sharks, bring old friend Matt Nieto back home
Welcome back to Colorado, Matt Nieto.
The Avalanche acquired the forward from the Sharks on Wednesday night. Nieto played with the Avs for more than three seasons from 2017-2020.
Colorado president of hockey operations Joe Sakic and general manager Chris MacFarland had to part ways with forward Martin Kaut and defenseman Jacob MacDonald to get Nieto back. They also picked up defensive prospect Ryan Merkley in the deal.
Trade update. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/LOOS51vU5j
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 26, 2023
Nieto’s been a good depth piece for the Sharks this year, tallying eight goals and seven assists in 45 games. He played 251 games in his first stint with the Avs, collecting 81 total points and scoring 37 goals. Merkley has appeared in 39 career NHL games, but has spent this year with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda. He was a first-round pick by the Sharks back in 2018.
The Avalanche parted with a first-round pick of their own in the deal, as they took Kaut No. 16 overall in the same 2018 draft. He couldn’t consistently crack head coach Jared Bednar’s lineup this year, appearing in just 27 games and only contributing one goal and two assists. MacDonald played in 33 contests, putting two assists on the scoresheet.
After a slow start, the Avs have won six games in a row and currently third in the Central division with 55 points and a 26-17-3 record.