The Minnesota Wild signed Joel Eriksson Ek, a restricted free agent centreman, to a eight-year contract worth $42 million, or $5.25 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2028-29 season.
#mnwild today announced the club has signed forward Joel Eriksson Ek to an eight-year, $42 million contract ($5.25 million AAV) that goes through the 2028-29 season. pic.twitter.com/nfSXzQSB5A
— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) July 2, 2021
Minnesota Wild Signed Joel Eriksson Ek
Over his five-year NHL career, Ek has solely played for the Wild. He currently owns 43 career goals and 53 career assists for 96 total points, in 266 games. Originally drafted in the first round, 20th overall of the 2015 NHL draft by Minnesota, the 24-year old will be staying put once again.
Last season he scored 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 points. That eclipsed his career high from a season prior, by just one point. He never reached the double-digits in goals until this past season, and was on pace to fall somewhere in the mid-20’s over a full season. He also added 20 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 47.1$ percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 0.2%.
What This Means for the Future
Eriksson Ek took a significant step forward in his career in 2020-21. If he becomes an annual 20-30 goal scorer, the Wild suddenly have a decent amount of talent upfront. Eriksson Ek finished fifth in scoring in Minnesota, behind Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, Mats Zuccarello, and Jordan Greenway. That group of five plays a strong, fast-paced style of hockey that fits the modern NHL well. Without a doubt, these guys played a major role in Minnesota’s season, helping them finish third in the West Division.
Despite falling to the Vegas Golden Knights in the postseason, the Wild are headed in the right direction. Great news, too, for Wild fans, who slowly became accustomed to middling annually as a bubble team. It seems to be a coin-toss every year with the Wild, whether or not they’ll finish inside the playoff picture. Now, with a strong core of players including the newly signed Eriksson Ek, the franchise can set its target higher than it has in a long time.
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