Sam Steel Signs with New Team

Free agent Sam Steel has signed a contract with the Minnesota Wild for one year with an $825,000 average cap hit. The deal carries through the 2022-23 season.

Sam Steel Signs with Wild

Sam Steel was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2016 with the 30th overall pick. Steel has had a disappointing run so far in the NHL. He had a promising debut for the Ducks in the 2018-19 season. He played in 22 games and scored six goals and 11 points in those games. Unfortunately, Steel has not been able to replicate that scoring efficiency. In the following three seasons, he played in 175 games scoring 18 goals and 54 points. The only consistent thing Steel can do it seems is score six goals a season, regardless of how many games he appears in.

Due to his underwhelming performance, the Ducks declined to tender a qualifying offer to the restricted free agent Steel, making him an unrestricted free agent. Steel has the ability to be a point-producing forward in the NHL. During his time with the Regina Pats of the WHL Steel scored 123 goals, 215 assists and 338 points. He was even named the WHL player of the year in 2017. In 2018 he helped Canada win the World Junior Hockey Championships by scoring four goals and nine points in seven games.

In 2017-18 he played 53 games for the Ducks AHL affiliate the San Diego Gulls. Steel scored 20 goals and 41 points in those games.

What this Means

Still only 24, there is still time for Steel to turn his career around. He has proven he can score at the professional level during his time in the AHL, now it’s just about transferring that confidence to the NHL. The Wild are hoping they can find a way to tap into Steel’s potential and unlock his offensive ability at the NHL level. If they can, Steel will be an excellent signing and will keep his NHL dreams alive. If Steel fails to impress again, he may not get another chance to play in the NHL.