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Bruce Boudreau has big expectations for Joel Eriksson Ek

The Wild's top prospect could make a big impact right away.
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Outside of trading away Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella, the Wild have remained pretty quiet this offseason, mostly due to the team's limited cap space.

It's a tough pill for a fan base to swallow after being bounced in five games during the first-round of the playoffs. However, head coach Bruce Boudreau believes one of the team's top prospects in Joel Eriksson Ek has potential to be a big name player for years to come.

"This kid is going to be a stud," said Boudreau on the Beyond the Pod podcast. "He's going to be an elite player; I don't want to put too much pressure on him. I really think there's a big underestimation of him."

Boudreau added that since Eriksson Ek can play center or wing, it will give them more flexibility on where they can play him. He even mentioned that he could slid into a top-9 role with the club, instead of having just limited minutes on the fourth line.

The 20-year-old native of Sweden played in 15 games last season with the Wild, scoring three goals while adding four assists.

He also captained the Swedish U20 team at the 2017 World Junior Tournament last winter, where he scored six goals over seven games.

Minnesota has kicked tires on bringing in free agents Matt Cullen and Drew Stafford, but with limited money to spend, the Wild may not be able to afford one of them.

They could also take a route of bringing in a few veteran on tryout deals during training camp, which would save them some coin.

But with Luke Kunin also turning pro this summer, the Wild will have plenty of in-house options to look at this fall.

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