Tuesday: Mitchell has cleared, and will be assigned to the Iowa Wild.
Monday: The Minnesota Wild have placed Zack Mitchell on waivers, continuing what has been a transaction-filled season for the forward. The 24-year old cleared waivers before the season, and bounced up and down throughout the first month of the year. Now that he’s been up for some time, he’ll have to clear again before heading to the Iowa Wild. The team needed a roster spot to make room for Zach Parise’s imminent return from injured reserve.
Mitchell has played 21 games for the Wild this season, registering his first NHL goal and recording five points so far. The undrafted forward signed with Minnesota after an impressive end to his junior career, and has continued showing some offensive skill in the minor leagues. He made his NHL debut last season, and is now an interesting option for the team as a depth forward with the ability to fill several roles. If he does make it back to Iowa, he’ll likely retake his role as a key offensive contributor—he has 16 points in 11 AHL contests this season. That versatility could actually make him an interesting claim for another team, as he has experience on both the penalty kill and powerplay at the minor league level.
For Minnesota, activating Parise has been part of the plan all along. The team had banked salary cap room whenever possible, knowing that Parise would make his return at some point and bring his $7.54MM cap hit with him. For a team trying to crawl back into the postseason, they certainly don’t have a lot of roster flexibility. They’ve been right up against the cap all season, and are at the limit of 50 contracts. That’ll be tough to deal with as they head towards the trade deadline and navigate any new opportunities.