EDMONTON, Alberta — The Wild has finalized the roster it’ll take to the postseason, making three cuts Friday to get its group down to 30 players.
Forwards J.T. Brown and Sam Anas and defenseman Calen Addison are no longer participating in training camp, which will soon shift to the Western Conference hub city. The Wild will leave the Twin Cities Sunday for Edmonton, a week before it opens its best-of-five qualifying-round series against Vancouver at Rogers Place.
Teams can bring up to 31 players, and the Wild is leaving a spot open for Kirill Kaprizov.
Even though Kaprizov is not eligible to play in the 24-team postseason tournament despite signing a two-year, entry-level contract last week, the team has been working to get the Russian prospect to meet up with the Wild in Canada and he will count toward the roster limit.
Center Joel Eriksson Ek, who was unavailable Friday after leaving Thursday’s scrimmage at Tria Rink, will travel to Edmonton. Defenseman Matt Dumba, who didn’t practice Thursday, was back on the ice Friday.
Aside from the regulars, the Wild’s roster includes nine minor league call-ups from Iowa in the American Hockey League: forwards Gerry Mayhew, Nico Sturm, Kyle Rau and Luke Johnson; defensemen Matt Bartkowski, Louie Belpedio and Brennan Menell; and goalies Kaapo Kahkonen and Mat Robson.
“We think we’ve got a good mix,” coach Dean Evason said during a video conference call. “Everybody had really good camps, but the numbers just dictated that we could only take so many, obviously, and we had some tough decisions on all three of them who we’re gong to bring and who we weren’t going to bring. So, we’ve obviously made this choice to leave the three guys off. But I can tell you it was a difficult choice.”
Addison was included in camp to get familiar with the team after the Wild acquired him in the Jason Zucker trade with Pittsburgh, and Evason feels encouraged about Addison’s future.
“He’s got a special gift offensively,” Evason said. “Clearly he’s young, has to get stronger, but what a great opportunity for him to come here and have an extended camp to get to know the guys, to battle.”
Pack and go
The Wild is scheduled to skate Sunday before departing for Edmonton, but the team will be off on Saturday — an opportunity for players to rest, pack and spend time with family before leaving.
“It’s the weekend. Weather’s supposed to be beautiful,” Evason said. “We still asked the players, and all of us, to do the right thing as far as the social distance and the masks and really limit our exposure to other people.”