The Wild, who was very close to recalling Joel Eriksson Ek in January before the Swedish Elite League's roster deadline, plans to recall the young forward from Farjestad now that their season is over, multiple sources tell the Star Tribune.
It's not official yet as some details have to be worked out, but I believe Eriksson Ek's travel to the United States has already begun.
After a delay to get his work visa, Eriksson Ek, 20, scored in his NHL debut Oct. 22 in New Jersey, had a three-assist game Oct. 25 in Boston and scored the winning goal Oct. 27 in Buffalo.
The 2015 first-round pick went without a point his next five games and the Wild decided to return him to Sweden before he played his 10th game as not to burn the first year of his deal and so he could play with his peers the rest of the season. He captained Sweden in the world junior championships.
By recalling Eriksson Ek now, he will burn that first year of his three-year deal once he plays one more game. He is playoff eligible.
In early February, GM Chuck Fletcher told the Star Tribune he preferred for Eriksson Ek to stay in Sweden and play in the world championships. “Hopefully we’re still going late in the spring, and we could bring him back then."
Obviously things have changed since with the Wild's situation as it could desperately use some skill and speed in the lineup.
The Wild's 2-9-1 in its past 12 games and 3-10-1 this month.
On Feb. 21, the Wild was leading the West and had a 17-point lead for home-ice advantage in the first round. On Feb. 28, the Wild had a 15-point home-ice advantage lead.
That lead has dwindled to six over Nashville and seven over St. Louis with the Washington Capitals, who lead the NHL and are 5-0-1 since beating the Wild 14 days ago, in town tonight.
Eriksson Ek can play center or wing. He finished the season for Farjestad at left wing.