The Minnesota Wild have taken care of one of their largest tasks this summer, having signed center Joel Eriksson Ek to an eight-year, $42-million contract ($5.25 million AAV) on Friday.
This is the first time the Wild have made use of the right to sign a player to an eight-year extension since the rule has been implemented by the NHL and certainly used it for a player that can determine their long-term success.
Eriksson Ek, 24, has been one of the best defensive forwards in the league for the last few years and saw an explosion of offense this season, scoring a career-high 19 goals and 30 points in 56 games played. That level of two-way production earned him fourth place in Selke Trophy voting, and his first nomination for a major NHL award.
According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, Eriksson Ek’s new contract involves a 10-team no-trade clause after the third year of the deal.
Now, GM Bill Guerin just has Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov as the remaining restricted free agents to sign new deals before the puck drops in October. We’ll see how that goes.