The Minnesota Wild may not have had their season end the way they’d hoped it would last spring, but that hasn’t stopped GM Bill Guerin from pushing forward with his plans to bring a Stanley Cup to the Twin Cities. The Wild are returning a very similar roster to the one they ran last season, and as a result, the Wild’s training camp is expected to be a highly competitive affair.
Wild head coach Dean Evason spoke on the upcoming competition in camp as part of an interview with The Athletic’s Michael Russo. (subscription link) Evason said that with the team’s top two lines relatively set in stone (Kirill Kaprizov’s line and the Joel Eriksson-Ek line), the team has seven forwards (Marco Rossi, Matt Boldy, Brandon Duhaime, Sam Steel, Frederick Gaudreau, Connor Dewar, and Nic Petan) competing for the six remaining available forward slots in the opening night lineup. Additionally, Evason previewed the camp competition for a spot on the defense’s third pairing, a competition expected to feature Alex Goligoski, Calen Addison, Andrej Sustr, and Dakota Mermis. All in all, expect a competitive camp in Minnesota, a camp fit for a team looking to have another strong regular season.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL:
- Johnny Boychuk played over 400 career games with the New York Islanders, and now he’s back with that organization, albeit not as a player. Per Newsday’s Andrew Gross, Boychuk has been hired by the Islanders in a player development role. The Islanders have long relied on their defense as the foundation of their success, so if this hire can help blueliners such as Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov, Robin Salo, and Calle Odelius grow their game, it’ll be a major help to the organization.
- After a successful season helping his Swedish club, Timra IK, survive its first season back in the SHL, Viktor Lodin crossed the Atlantic and saw his first North American professional action with the Senators. The 2019 fourth-round pick played well, scoring eight points in 10 AHL games and even got into his first NHL game. That success meant Lodin would be competing for a lineup spot in Senators training camp, but unfortunately he may have to wait. In today’s prospect tournament game vs. the Montreal Canadiens, Lodin went hard into the boards and sustained an upper-body injury that caused him to leave the game. While we don’t have word on the full extent of the injury, it’s surely not an ideal development for Lodin’s NHL odds.