The Minnesota Wild announced this afternoon that they have re-signed three of their restricted free agents to contract extensions, forwards Ryan Donato and Nico Sturm, as well as defenseman Carson Soucy.
Donato, who signed for two years at $1.9 million per season, was acquired on Feb. 20 from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Charlie Coyle. He recorded 16 points in 22 games played with Minnesota after the trade, including four goals to go along with 12 assists. The 2014 second-round selection played three seasons with Harvard University from 2015-2018, and played on the 2018 Men’s United States Olympic team in Pyeongchang where he led the team in scoring.
The other forward, Nico Sturm, who signed a one-year, two-way contract, was signed by the Wild as a college free agent after spending three seasons playing for Clarkson University, highlighted by this past year where he recorded 45 points in 39 games played and was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker, given to the best player in NCAA men’s hockey. He played in Minnesota’s final two games of the season, recording 25:34 in ice time over the two games combined.
The defenseman, Carson Soucy, had a tough start to the 2018-19 season, but he picked up his play as the season went along with the Iowa Wild and earned his one-year, two-way contract extension with the Wild. Soucy was a fifth-round pick (137th overall) in 2013 by Minnesota, and then played the next four years with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in the NCAA before signing his entry-level deal with the Wild in the spring of 2017. He has played most of the last two seasons in the AHL with the Iowa Wild, except for a three-game stint in the NHL at the end of 2017-18 and four games with Minnesota in their playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets when they dealt with injuries to top defenseman such as Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon.
The Wild still have three more important restricted free agents to extend, including forwards Kevin Fiala and Joel Erikkson Ek, along with defenseman Louis Belpedio. Those deals are expected to get done, as they are not nearly as high profile as some of the other notable RFAs on the market, such as Mitch Marner or Brock Boeser, that are in the middle of lengthy and difficult contract negotiations.
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