Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau was fed up with the veterans on his squad on Tuesday evening.
During the final minute of regulation against the Canucks, Boudreau contemplated putting rookies Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek on the ice to send a message after the lethargic effort by his regulars in the lineup.
"I thought they were our two best players," said Boudreau about Kunin and Eriksson Ek after Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Vancouver. "And I didn't know if I wanted to send a message out there in the last minute and put them both out."
Instead, Boudreau opted to send out Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu and others who tied a game in the final seconds against Carolina earlier this month.
Minnesota's bench boss was also unhappy that Jason Zucker took a penalty 60 seconds into a power-play opportunity earlier in the period, negating the Wild's man advantage.
Kunin, who is just 19, actually ended up sticking with Minnesota's first line in practice on Wednesday, according to Dane Mizutani of the Pioneer Press.
Boudreau continued to praise Kunin at practice saying, "Getting the kind of minutes he's getting and the way he's playing, he's only going to get more."
Although Kunin has skated in four games this season, the Wild usually end up sending him and other prospects down on off-days to preserve cap space.
However, it looks like Boudreau has rewarded Kunin's hard work and believes he should have a larger role with the team.
The former first-round pick from Wisconsin has two points – zero goals, two assists – this season while averaging 14 minutes per game.