With the Iowa Wild’s quick elimination from the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs, The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild are expected to call up their complement of Black Aces today to be around the team while their playoff run continues. While most won’t be called up after Iowa’s exit meetings, Russo said that top goalie prospect Jesper Wallstedt has already been recalled and will serve as the third goalie behind the team’s tandem of Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Wallstedt, 20, didn’t have the playoff performance he wanted in Iowa, recording a .897 save percentage in two overtime losses as Iowa lost their best-of-three series against the Rockford IceHogs. It doesn’t diminish what was a promising stretch run to the season for him, wrapping up his first pro season in North America with a .908 save percentage and a shutout in 38 games for Iowa. Selected 20th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, Wallstedt remains one of the best goalie prospects in the league and should gain valuable experience from being around the Minnesota team for the rest of their postseason.
- After attempting to return from injury in Game 3 and skating just one shift, things aren’t looking up for the health of Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek. Head coach Dean Evason told reporters today Eriksson Ek hasn’t skated since his latest injury, as he’s still in the process of evaluation and “not close” to returning to the lineup. Eyes now turn to Sam Steel and Frédérick Gaudreau, who have both performed well so far in the series, to shoulder Eriksson Ek’s absence.
- On the flip side, Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski continues to progress in his recovery after a hit in Game 1 that caused him to enter concussion protocol. Pavelski skated with the team today for the first time since the injury, and head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters Pavelski’s progressed in his recovery each day. It remains unclear whether Pavelski will return this series.