Wild GM Josh Rose decided to make big changes to the Wild, bringing in marquee names and resetting expectations in the land of lakes and peaks.
It’s late August and general manager Josh Rose is absolutely committed to rebuilding the Minnesota Wild with patience and persistence to develop the youth within the organization.
The days leading up to Sept 8th everything changed, the entire organizational plan was thrown out the window when we got wind that Nathan Mackinnon was available and that we were the top suiter for his services.
We got the idea that Philadelphia general manager Stefan Kiss was looking to put his own stamp on his roster and establish a system with a lot of high-end young talent. After many days of negotiating and back and forth offers, we eventually came to terms on a trade that sent Alex Newhook, Matthew Boldy, Jett Woo, Klim Kostin, and Michael McLeod over to the Flyers with Nathan Mackinnon coming over to Minnesota @ 50% retained along with a 4th Round pick (Ethan Cardwell).
The opportunity to add a player of this caliber was simply too good to pass up, we see this as a long-term piece that will make everyone he plays with better, in addition he’s a perfect mentor for young players coming up through our system.
This decision reshaped the entire plan for our offseason, I was now committed to move in a direction that would surround Nate Mackinnon and David Pastrnak and Elias Lindholm with more talent around them. What an opportunity for Nolan Patrick in our top 6 to have this upper echelon talent around him.
A week later general manager Josh Rose was right back to work, adding versatile forward Jason Dickinson, he’s a player that comes with some term as we’ll be able to retain his services for at least 5 years, he’s a player that can help our penalty kill, and a bottom 6 that lacks depth. The price was right Florida no longer had the roster space and with how deep our prospect system is we felt okay sending 4th and 6th round picks over to the Panthers along with prospect Nikolai Kovalenko.
In an attempt to restock the cupboards and strengthen the prospect system ahead of next season, GM Josh Rose acquired former first round pick in 2021 Ozzy Wiesblatt, along with early 2nd Round pick in 2021 Zack Ostapchuk in exchange for multiple 4th round picks, a 5th round pick and 1.5 million dollars in cash.
These are two players we are very familiar with from their time in the WHL and they will help our organization down the road.
As free agency was looming the Wild were at another crossroads whether or not to save our cap space or spend in free agency, as time would tell the organization decided to spend money where needed to improve the roster.
On day 1 of free agency GM Josh Rose made a splash adding G David Rittich in net for a 1 Mil cap hit for 1 season, as well as defenseman Devon Toews on a 4 year $4,750,000 cap hit. This deal was steep but we are looking at this as a player that can be an NHL re-rate in short order and really take the next step to help our organization, short term pain for long term gain.
As the market progressed as the prices got a little crazy, we decided to set our sights on Brady Skjei basically committing to paying him whatever we needed to get him into our organization and settled at $9,400,000 over 2 years. Skjei we felt is at the right stage of his career to add into our core, he’s very responsible defensively and has offensive ability to.
It’s just the one player we felt like we needed to have especially looking at how weak our defensive core was looking. He’s going to be a good mentor for our young defenseman Rasmus Sandin.
As free agency was wrapping up, we managed to sign Evander Kane as well, some of our other targets got way too expensive and Kane came in at a cap hit of 7,100,000 over 2 years. He’s a physical player with goal scoring ability, ultimately, he’s a risk we decided to “gamble” on bringing into our locker room.
With free agency in rear view, the next step to the offseason was the contract signings of some of our high-end prospects. Coming to terms with defensemen Bowen Byram, Ian Mitchell, Mattias Samuelsson, Axel Andersson, as well as forwards Kent Johnson, Brennan Othmann, Oskar Olausson, Alex Beaucage, and Matias Maccelli, and in net securing the services of the very promising and talented Jeremy Swayman.
A huge influx in talent added to our farm system, we are committed to developing every one of these players.
For a good portion of time, we had been dangling the likes of Joel Eriksson Ek, Adrian Kempe, and top prospects for a top 6 Winger with term. It took a good two weeks to come together but we finally found our man in Alex Debrincat, he came along with Ty Dellandrea and a 2023 7th for Adrian Kempe, Joel Farabee, Cole Perfetti and 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
The team is shaping up well, the depth chart is looking as follows: