WASHINGTON – Suiting up for his first NHL game is among the memories Wild center Victor Rask cherishes the most from his five seasons with the Hurricanes.
And he’ll experience an-other highlight Saturday when he returns to Carolina for the first time since he was traded to the Wild two months ago.
“It’s going to be a special night, for sure,” Rask said.
Until he was moved out in exchange for winger Nino Niederreiter on Jan. 17, Rask had only ever played for the Hurricanes.
They drafted him 42nd overall in 2011 and after he made his debut in 2014, Rask exited the franchise having played 339 games and racking up 63 goals and 163 points.
“It’s always emotional when you go back to your other team that you last played for,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I hope he puts on a good show, and we play good for him.”
While Niederreiter has soared since the trade, totaling 12 goals and 24 points in 27 games, Rask has had a bumpier transition.
He chipped in a goal and assist in his first 10 games before getting hurt and missing 12 contests because of a lower-body injury. And while the 26-year-old remained without a point, Boudreau felt Rask has been better in recent games.
“With Victor, it’s going to be a lot about confidence,” Boudreau said. “If he ever gets to scoring regular again like he did a few years ago in Carolina, I think he’ll be fine.”
That type of production would help the Wild up the middle, especially with Rask under contract for three more seasons.
“I really like it here,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to staying for a while.”
Although he was called up under emergency conditions Thursday, winger Matt Read slotted into the lineup Friday as the Wild’s fourth and final recall from the American Hockey League.
That’s because winger Pontus Aberg was a healthy scratch against the Capitals, the first time that’s happened since he was acquired in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 16.
Read filled out a line with Rask and winger Jason Zucker.
This was only Read’s third appearance this month despite repeatedly getting called up in recent weeks as insurance for the Wild.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” he said. “Obviously, it’s not ideal. Just excited to go up and down and get an opportunity to play back in the NHL and prove myself again. You never know what’s going to happen. You just kind of live in the moment and enjoy every second of it.”
Sheehy lands ATO
The Iowa Wild signed former Gophers forward Tyler Sheehy to an amateur tryout agreement Friday.
Sheehy joins the organization after finishing his senior season at the University of Minnesota; the Burnsville native tallied 12 goals and 29 assists in 38 games, leading the Gophers in assists and ranking second in points.