The Minnesota Wild have added another AHL defenseman to the mix, signing Kevin Czuczman to a one-year, two-way contract. The contract will carry an NHL salary of $750K and pay Czuczman $200K at the minor league level.
Though he has just 15 career NHL games, Czuczman will help solidify the blueline for the Iowa Wild, bringing experience and defensive ability to the minor league club. Undrafted out of Lake Superior State, he has spent the last four seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, even serving as an alternate captain. In more than 400 AHL contests, Czuczman has recorded 124 points but incredibly has made it to the playoffs just twice, never winning a round. For an Iowa team that made it to the postseason for the first time in 2019 and obviously hope to get back, he’ll hope to change that record.
Minnesota actually doesn’t have an extremely long depth chart on defense. The team has just five defensemen signed to one-way contracts for 2021-22 and now eight more on two-way deals. Two of those, Daemon Hunt and Ryan O’Rourke, would normally be ineligible for the AHL due to their age, though the latter could be allowed under the one-time exemption after suiting up 33 times last year. Either way, at this moment there aren’t a lot of names who could be called upon as injury insurance for the NHL team, meaning Czuczman may actually see a little bit of action this year.