Avs trade Wolski for Mueller, Porter

The Phoenix Coyotes sent Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday for Wojtek Wolski.

The Phoenix Coyotes sent Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday for Wojtek Wolski.

The deal involves an exchange of former first-round draft picks who haven't quite lived up to their potential, with a Hobey Baker Award winner thrown in as well.

Wolski was selected 21st overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft by Colorado. The 24-year-old left wing has scored 73 goals and added 102 assists in 302 NHL games with the Avalanche.

Wolski is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1. He is currently earning $3.1 million US and has 17 goals and 47 points in 62 games this season.

Hockey Night in Canada analyst Glenn Healy declared the Coyotes a hands-down winner of this deal.

"Wolski has got way more character, he's got a bigger shot," Healy said. "He's got a tremendous upside, he's got bigger size.

"Mueller, to me, is a guy who came out of the dance and we had lots of promise for him thinking he was going to be a big-time player and I don't think he competes hard enough.

"I think if you push him in a certain way he will disappear and you won't hear from him. He's not a guy that's going to take you to the next level."

Huge drop in scoring

Mueller, a centre, was picked eighth in the 2006 draft. After a strong rookie season in which he notched 54 points in 81 games, the Bloomington, Minn., native has scored just 17 times in the last 126 games.

Mueller will be a restricted free agent at season's end.

Porter won the Hobey Baker, given to the top U.S. collegiate player, in 2008 for the University of Michigan.

The centre, who turns 24 next week, has played 38 NHL games but has spent much of his time the last two seasons with San Antonio in the American Hockey League.

Colorado also reacquired Stephane Yelle, who played on two Stanley Cup winning teams with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001.

Yelle, 35, arrives from Carolina along with Harrison Reed for Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a sixth-round pick.

Yelle has played 980 NHL games, with 96 goals and 168 assists and 486 penalty minutes.

Reed and Lalonde-McNicoll are both forwards born in 1988 and currently playing in the American Hockey League.