Joined: Jun 2017
Disclaimer: The Hurricanes are one of the few teams I invest significant emotional energy in, so this may be a slightly colored opinion.
When Rask was signed to that 6yr, $4mil extension, a lot of people looked at his trajectory curve and defined him as a #1 center in the making. Obviously, that has not happened. He does do some things well (he's adept at entering the zone, and he makes pretty good transition passes from defense to offense). As many have pointed out, he's a positive faceoff man (though I don't think he's positive enough to make a consistent/noteable difference).
However, players in this league that can consistently score the puck and drive play are extremely valuable. Nino has had a strong relative CF% over the years in Minnesota, and is still in the black. Additionally, he continues to score points, and is on a 40-point pace in what many would consider a bad season for him. Meanwhile, Rask is in an epic slump and on pace for a total nearing 20 points on the season (he did miss a significant chunk of time with finger surgery) and has had the bottom completely fall out in terms of shot production on the ice. While Nino is not a center, the Canes trio of Aho-Staal-Wallmark has proven to be more than serviceable, and Rask was easily the odd man out. More scoring talent (in general, but especially with what seems to be the imminent departure of Ferland) is a great pickup for that.
I can't say the same thing in Minnesota, a team not lacking centers. Theoretically, it's possible to see Rask filling the 3C spot in Minnesota, but that seems like a ceiling, more than a floor.
Ultimately I think what would be considered a good season for Rask is probably the floor for what Nino can accomplish. The Wild get some credit for clearing a little space, but the Hurricanes don't get any demerits: they have lots of cap space to use.
I think the Canes win this one in a walk, barring significant injury to NN.