Wild wade back into college free agent pool, sign pair


The Minnesota Wild scored two NCAA prospects on Monday, agreeing to terms with University of Vermont goalie Brody Hoffman and Minnesota State defenseman Zach Palmquist to entry-level deals for next season.

Hoffman, 24, went 13-6-2 this season with a 2.06 GAA and .922 save percentage; during his freshman campaign for the Catamounts, he became the first goalie in school history to start every regular season contest since Tim Thomas did it in 1996-97.

Palmquist, also 24, was an assistant captain for the Mavericks this season and finished fourth on the team in scoring, with 29 points in 40 games. The four-year starter also set a record this season by playing in his 160th consecutive contest, which marks the longest streak in Minnesota State school history.

The Wild have been busy inking collegiate free agents this spring, having earlier agreed to terms with New Hampshire leading scorer Grayson Downing. These moves make sense; Minnesota has moved a number of picks at the upcoming drafts (3rd and 5th rounders at this year’s, 2nd and 3rd in 2016) and needs to find alternative methods to stockpile prospects.

Previously, the Wild had success on the NCAA free agent front by inking coveted UMass-Lowell d-man Christian Folin in the spring of 2014.