Despite scoring his first NHL goal against the Ottawa Senators and acquitting himself well against the Colorado Avalanche, the Minnesota Wild announced today they are reassigning defensive prospect Calen Addison back down to their AHL affiliate Iowa Wild. The roster move makes room for the return of veteran defenseman and former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Alex Goligoski, who has missed three games with an upper-body injury suffered against the Vancouver Canucks, to make his return to the roster for Saturday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Head coach Dean Evason told pool reporters that Addison’s play over his last two games made the decision a difficult one. “Tough no matter what we do in that spot because Addy’s come up and just conducted himself extremely well obviously,” Evason said after today’s practice. “We’ll have to make a tough decision for sure.”
Addison made his NHL debut at the end of last season, slotting in three late regular-season games before replacing an injured Carson Soucy in the playoffs, earning one point in three starts. This season, Addison has impressed in 27 minutes over two starts, dominating possession with a 70.69 Corsi For percentage and 73.50 expected goals for percentage, best among Wild defensemen. Sending Addison down to Iowa makes sense, however, as he’s currently the only defenseman on the active roster who is waivers exempt.
Meanwhile, Goligoski has been practicing with the team since prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Avalanche, and reportedly told Evason today after practice that he felt great. Goligoski is yet to score this seaosn, but has three assists in five games, and has nine blocked shots over that same span.
Despite the disappointment for Addison - and Wild fans - to see a promising prospect returned to Iowa, it’s good to know that he’ll be able to continue his development and that the Wild have a talented player ready to chip in if injuries or struggles crop up during the season.