The Minnesota Wild and defenseman Jacob Middleton have come to terms on a three-year contract extension, per the team. The contract carries a cap hit of $2.45MM, a hefty raise for the now-signed restricted free agent.
Middleton played in his first full NHL season this past year at 26 years old. A seventh-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, the 6′ 3″, 219-lb defenseman forced his way into the San Jose Sharks lineup this past season with a needed brand of physicality and impressive defensive results. It allowed the Sharks to net some solid value in return when they dealt him the Wild at this year’s Trade Deadline. Down the stretch, Middleton had five points in 21 regular-season games, averaging 17:55 per game. He added an assist in six playoff games.
Overall, Middleton’s netted four goals, 13 assists, and 17 points in 80 NHL games so far, with 14 of those points and 66 of those games coming this season.
Minnesota acquired him with the main intent of being tougher to play against, and the acquisition achieved that goal. His defensive play is a really nice byproduct too, and while his ceiling likely isn’t much higher than his current production, that $2.4MM cap hit is a decent value if his defensive game continues at its current level.