The Minnesota Wild moved forward Frédérick Gaudreau to long-term injured reserve on Monday, according to a team statement. Additionally, the team recalled top goalie prospect Jesper Wallstedt to accompany the team as their third goalie for upcoming games in Sweden for the NHL Global Series.
Teams are permitted to carry a third goalie for international games, meaning Wallstedt will not count against the salary cap nor the 23-man roster limit but is eligible to enter a game if both Marc-André Fleury and Filip Gustavsson become injured while the team is overseas. The 2021 20th-overall pick is off to a breakneck start with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, recording a 2.01 GAA, .932 SV%, two shutouts, and a 6-2-0 record through eight games.
Meanwhile, Gaudreau has been moved to LTIR to increase the Wild’s salary pool. The 30-year-old winger/center has missed the last nine games with an upper-body injury and has not played since October 14 against the Edmonton Oilers.
Gaudreau has missed the 28-day requirement for LTIR but not the ten-game requirement, meaning Gaudreau cannot be activated until after the first of Minnesota’s two games in Sweden against the Ottawa Senators. Given he will not travel with the team to Sweden, the earliest Gaudreau can conceivably return to the Wild lineup is November 24 against the Colorado Avalanche.
Before sustaining the injury, Gaudreau was off to a slow start, failing to record a point in six games and posting a -2 rating. It’s not the beginning he (or the Wild) envisioned after he inked a five-year, $10.5MM extension with trade protection to remain in the State of Hockey last April.
If Wallstedt is forced into action for the Wild while in his home country, it will be the 20-year-old’s NHL debut.