The Minnesota Wild have had a knack for finding interesting prospects in the middle and late rounds lately, and Ivan Lodnia is no different. The 18-year old forward has been cleared to play after missing the end of the OHL season with an injury, and the Wild have given him an opportunity by assigning him to the AHL. Having Lodnia join the Iowa Wild even for a short stint at such a young age shows how highly the Minnesota front office thinks of the third-round pick, and could indicate that he’s closer to making an impact for them than one might have originally thought.
Lodnia scored 59 points for the Erie Otters this season, which while a slight improvement over last year isn’t an amount that screams future NHL scorer. Still, his offensive ability is perhaps secondary to the solid defensive game he has developed over the last few years as he was stuck behind other more senior players on the Erie depth chart. Lodnia is built in the same way that other successful two-way players have been on the Wild, and could follow them to the NHL to make an impact.
While it’s very likely he’ll return to the OHL for another season in 2018-19, Lodnia is one to keep an eye on in a Minnesota system that has several intriguing names. With other late round selections like Kirill Kaprizov, Dmitry Sokolov and Brandon Duhaime all finding success in one way or another, the Wild have found quite a bit of talent outside the first round.