The Minnesota Wild roster continues to shrink.
Monday afternoon, Wild general manager Bill Guerin announced defenseman Louie Belpedio has been assigned to the AHL’s Iowa Wild. Belpedio signed a one-year contract extension with the Wild early in September.
The Wild also placed veteran forward J.T. Brown on waivers. Brown, 29, appeared in 56 games for Minnesota last season, collecting a total of eight points (three goals, five assists). If Brown clears waivers, he will also be assigned to the Iowa Wild.
As noted by Michael Russo of The Athletic, Minnesota’s roster now really stands at 22 players, assuming defenseman Greg Pateryn and 20-year-old forward Mason Shaw begin the season on injured reserve (Pateryn has been dealing with a nagging lower-body injury throughout the preseason and Shaw continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered back in April).
Underwhelming advanced metrics notwithstanding, Belpedio managed to put together an encouraging preseason with a goal and two assists in five games. It won’t be much of a shock if the 23-year-old earns some time in the NHL this season.
As for Brown, his placement on waivers is a bit more expected. Though he did drive play quite well in the preseason (57.45 CF% at 5-on-5), he failed to register a point and averaged barely over 11 minutes per game. Still, like Belpedio, it won’t be a total surprise if Brown does end up playing some games for the big club in the regular season (so long as he clears waivers, of course).