The Iowa Wild are getting some help for their blue line from the NHL in the form of Dakota Mermis.
Reported on Friday, the Minnesota Wild have placed the defenseman on waivers for the purpose of reassignment to the AHL.
#mnwild have placed Dakota Mermis on waivers, meaning he’s medically cleared to begin in Iowa.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 28, 2022
Mermis has been slowly recovering from an injury suffered during the pre-season, this transaction — as Michael Russo points out in his tweet — means that he has been cleared and is approaching game shape. He wasn’t sent down there initially because he was still technically part of the NHL roster and could not be reassigned while injured.
Iowa desperately needs some help as well. After winning their two pre-season games against the Rockford IceHogs, they have lost all four of their regular season games so far. Two required a shootout for a result, but going without a win to start the season is not that great.
This is an AHL Wild team that is a farcry from those that were bolstered with veteran talent like Gerry Mayhew and Kyle Rau. The majority of the roster are under 30 years old; only defenseman Andrej Sustr, goalie Zane McIntyre, and forward Joseph Cramarossa is 30 or above. It features a whole lot of developmental talent like Sammy Walker (who leads in the team in scoring with three points in four games), Nick Swaney, Daemon Hunt, Ryan O’Rourke, Simon Johansson, Sam Hentges, Mikey Milne, and above all, top goaltender prospect Jesper Wallstedt. A massive group of prospects just wanting to get better without so much of a focus on winning hockey games.
It will be an interesting season no doubt, but Mermis’s experience can at least soften the load for some younger players experiencing professional hockey for the first time.