Rookie Joel Eriksson Ek has suited up in nine games this season, which means if he plays again, Minnesota will burn the first year of his entry-level contract.
The Wild will take on the Senators on Sunday, but because they aren’t sure if they want to keep Eriksson Ek all season, there’s a good chance he’ll be a healthy scratch.
The 19-year-old got stitches on Saturday after taking a puck to the chin against Philadelphia, but he managed to return and is ready to play if needed tonight.
“He’s good to go,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said, per the Minneapolis StarTribune. “But I don’t know if he’s going to play, though. It’s his 10th game. We haven’t made our mind up on that yet.’’
Eriksson Ek bust onto the NHL scene by scoring in his first game and picking up five points in his first four contests. Since then, he’s been held of the scoresheet in each of his last five outings.
Boudreau has also limited his minutes throughout the nine games. He played 6:14 on Saturday (he left to get stitches) and never played more than 12:03.
Scratching him tonight would give the Wild a little more time to evaluate his first nine games of the season.
If they decide not to keep him, they could send him back to his Swedish team or he could wind up with Iowa of the AHL.