Paul Fenton admitted Wednesday that he doesn’t like to talk about injuries. So when the Wild’s new general manager was asked how Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Luke Kunin were healing, he kept his answer deliberately vague.
Speaking at a Wild town hall event at Xcel Energy Center, Fenton said only that the three “are on track to come back’’ without divulging any details about their progress.
Suter is recovering from surgery in April to repair a severely broken right ankle. Parise is on the mend after fracturing his sternum during a first-round playoff series against Winnipeg, and Kunin had surgery in early April for a torn left ACL.
The question was one of several pitched to Fenton, assistant general manager Tom Kurvers and coach Bruce Boudreau from live and online audiences at the town hall. Though Fenton said he has had “quite a bit’’ of contact with Suter in particular, he declined to discuss how the defenseman is healing from the injury that happened when he hit the boards awkwardly in a March 31 loss to Dallas.
“We think the three players are going to be ready to go,’’ Fenton said. “Whether it’s to begin training camp or not is still to be determined. But for the most part, our guys, we think, will be ready to play.’’
Fenton also said the timetable for signing highly regarded prospect Kirill Kaprizov is “a work in progress.’’ Kaprizov, a high-scoring Russian winger, has two years remaining on his contract with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League.
The Wild picked the 21-year-old in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL draft.
Though Fenton noted “there is no easy way out’’ of Kaprizov’s KHL contract, he said Wild officials are talking to the player and his agent to build a relationship. Even at this stage of his development, Fenton said, Kaprizov would be “a great addition’’ to the Wild roster.
“We are working on it,’’ Fenton said. “We know how good he is. This guy is ultra-talented.’’
Asked which young players he is most excited about, Boudreau said he expects to see significant progress this season from forwards Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway and defenseman Nick Seeler.
“Eriksson Ek, I think he’s ready to take a real big-sized jump to be a major part of our team,’’ the coach said. “Jordan Greenway got better every game he played; by the end of the playoffs, he was maybe our best player up front.
“And Nick Seeler really came on. Another year’s growth from all three of these guys will really be positive.’’