The Minnesota Wild has re-signed right-wing/center Nick Bjugstad to a one-year deal worth $900,000 that will keep him from hitting restricted free agency.
The Wild acquired Bjugstad last offseason from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional seventh-round pick. The Blaine native scored six goals, 11 assists, and 17 points in 2021 and added another goal during Minnesota's playoff series with the Vegas Golden Knights.
While Bjugstad isn't the top-line center the Wild will be looking for this summer, he fills a need at the back end of the depth chart where Minnesota will be looking for cheaper talent.
According to Cap Friendly, the Wild have $15.9 million remaining in cap space with 16 players signed for next season. The Wild will have to add a minimum of two players this summer but would also like to sign Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov to long-term extensions.
Speaking at a media conference to announce Joel Eriksson Ek's extension, general manager Bill Guerin hinted that talks would ramp up to sign Fiala and Kaprizov, who are both restricted free agents.
Those contracts would take up a good chunk of the remaining cap space and even if the Wild get some relief in the upcoming expansion draft, they'll still need to find a way to fill out the final spots on their roster.
The Wild could ultimately decide to fill those spots with top prospects such as Calen Addison, Matt Boldy, and Marco Rossi but for now, Bjugstad provides insurance in case they want to go in a different direction.