April 5: Both players have cleared waivers and can now be assigned to the taxi squad or minor leagues.
April 4: A pair of depth forwards hit the waiver wire today, added by a couple of competing West Division contenders no less. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Minnesota Wild’s Luke Johnson and the St. Louis Blues’ Jacob de La Rose have been waived. Edmonton’s Joakim Nygard, the only player on waivers on Saturday, has cleared.
Johnson, 26, cleared waivers early this season, but his most recent outing with Minnesota marked the ten-game limit that necessitated another go-round. The former Chicago Blackhawks prospect, now in his second season with the Wild, is unlikely to be claimed. Johnson has one point in 28 career NHL games and has yet to record a point with Minnesota in two years. While his minor league production has previously been impressive, he has only played in two games with AHL Iowa this season, spending most of his time on the Minnesota taxi squad. And that is where Johnson is likely to remain for much of the remainder of this season.
De La Rose, 25, could be more of a risk, albeit is still unlikely to be claimed. The 2013 second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens was claimed the very first time he was waived, snagged by the Detroit Red Wings back in 2018. Detroit then traded de La Rose to the Blues early last season in a one-for-one deal to land Robby Fabbri, a swap that has worked out nicely for the Red Wings. In St. Louis, de La Rose has failed to make much of an impact and has been slowed by injuries as well. While his offensive game has never reached his draft expectations, de La Rose’s physical contributions have also slipped this year, leading to a career-low in ice time. For the Blues, it likely no longer made sense to reserve an active roster spot for the Swedish forward. Whether another team sees enough ice time to make a claim remains to be seen, but it would not be a major loss for St. Louis if it does happen.