After an impressive performance at the World Junior Championships earlier this month, the Ottawa Senators were hoping to convince forward Shane Pinto to sign with them at the end of this collegiate season. In fact, leDroit’s Jean-Francois Plante (translation required) writes that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion visited Pinto Thursday in hopes of convincing him to sign with Ottawa after his season, but he was turned away.
Pinto, the team’s 2019 second-round pick (32nd overall), has been a revelation. Considered a bit of a reach by Ottawa immediately after the draft, Pinto has taken off, posting nine goals and 15 points in 19 games for the University of North Dakota. He joined the United States team at the WJC and was one of the team’s leaders, scoring four goals and seven points in five games. However, Plante reports that Pinto’s agent would like Pinto to continue his development at North Dakota for at least one more year before likely joining the AHL team when he’s more ready physically to compete.
- The Minnesota Wild could be getting back some offensive firepower as forward Jason Zucker practiced with the team Saturday and is a game-time decision for their game Sunday against Vancouver, according to NHL.com’s Dan Myers. Zucker suffered a fractured right fibula after getting hit with a slapshot dump-in by Chicago’s Brent Seabrook on Dec. 15. The forward had surgery and was given a 4-6 week timetable, but looks to be ready early. The 27-year-old has 12 goals and 24 points in 34 games so far this season and could provide the Wild with a much needed offensive boost.
- While Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat missed his first game of the season Saturday with a lower-body injury, NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman reports that Palat is still a possibility to play on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils. Palat has struggled with minor injuries throughout his career, but has produced a solid 12 goals and 26 points in 43 games so far this season.
- The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell (subscription required) breaks down the play of Edmonton Oilers defensive prospect William Lagesson and his potential future with the team. The 23-year-old, currently on the Oilers’ NHL roster, might have trouble cracking the team down the road due to the team’s depth in defensive players and upcoming prospects, which could leave Lagesson on the outside looking in.