The Minnesota Wild is making use of the taxi squad that has been renewed by the NHL and NHLPA due to hundreds of players heading into the league’s COVID protocol list and dozens of games getting postponed. Announced by the team on Thursday, they have recalled forward Connor Dewar and defenseman Dakota Mermis to serve as the back-up players that will be participating at the first team’s practice.
Dewar, 22, has appeared in four games for the Wild this season, including his NHL debut. The speedy third-round pick has been slowly developing as a solid two-way option and building upon his strong WHL career. Now in his third AHL season, he is boosting that production with six goals and 11 points in 12 games this season.
He is in that awkward in between stage of being a prospect to being a potential professional player, so getting a taste of full-time NHL life will certainly be beneficial for him, even if it might mean not getting in a game for 20 days. Under new taxi squad rules, a player cannot stay more than 20 consecutive days on there.
For Mermis, this is more of where he should be. The 27-year-old defenseman played well when he needed to make his Wild debut last season during the mid-season COVID outbreak, but has been logging minutes down in Iowa since then. He is certainly a defense-first player, so the six points in 18 games shouldn’t be a red flag for future contributions, but he can certainly play well enough to at least be considered as a player on the fringe on the taxi squad.
After the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, the Wild are set to play the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 3, and then the Boston Bruins on Jan. 6.
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