The Wild is expected to sign Nashville Predators free-agent defenseman Jonathon Blum on Friday.
While agent Gerry Johannson said Thursday the Wild was one of many teams in the running and nothing was finalized, multiple sources say the 24-year-old 2007 first-round pick will sign a two-way contract with Minnesota.
The Predators didn’t tender the former Western Hockey League star a qualifying offer on July 2 because of the threat of Blum winning a one-way arbitration case and Nashville’s logjam on the blue line. He became an unrestricted free agent last Friday.
As of now, Blum, Nate Prosser and Matt Dumba will be vying for one, maybe two spots on defense behind Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, Keith Ballard, Clayton Stoner and Jared Spurgeon. All three are right-shot defensemen.
The 6-1, 195-pound Blum has scored seven goals and 22 points in 91 NHL games. In four years with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, he scored 49 goals and 204 points and was team captain. He was WHL and CHL Defenseman of the Year in 2009, won a Memorial Cup in 2007 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (138).
The native of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., twice represented the United States in the world juniors.