Wild go with a Swede; team selects Joel Eriksson Ek in first round


The Minnesota Wild selected a center with their first round pick in the NHL Draft on Friday night.

Joel Eriksson Ek from Farjestad, Sweden, was their choice with the 20th pick in the draft. Eriksson Ek, 18, is 6-foot-2 and weighs in around 180 pounds. He split the 2014-15 season between Farjestad and their junior team. Eriksson Ek had the most points of any under-18 eligible player in the Swedish Hockey league.

Internationally, Eriksson Ek represented Sweden in the Under-18 World Championships. He led the team with 5 goals and tied for the team lead with six points.

According to Elite Prospects.com, he uses his size, skill and skating power to the net to create scoring chances.

"Posses an elite-level shot, great vision, and slick puckhandling skills; as a result, it's no surprise that he has a natural knack for scoring big goals. Offensive catalyst, but also defensively responsible. Plays a creative, 200-foot game."

Hockey Wilderness says he has the type of "battle-level" the Wild like and has been compared to Nino Niederreiter.

Reilly to return to Twin Cities

But Ericksson Ek wasn't the only Wild arrival revealed on Friday, with former Gophers defenseman also making a return to the Twin Cities after becoming a free agent from the Columbus Blue Jackets – rejecting offers from the Blackhawks, Kings and Penguins, according to reports.

FOX Sports says that while Ek is a pick for the future, the signing of Reilly is one that could make an immediate impact.

According to the Star Tribune, Reilly will officially sign a two-year, $1.85 million (plus bonuses) contract on July 1, saying it "just felt right" to be returning to Minnesota.

"It’s a good, young team with a lot of guys," he told the newspaper. "They’ve been in the playoffs the last few years and they’re ready to take the next step. They’ve got a lot of great pieces. I got to watch a lot of games throughout the year, and they’re fun to watch. They’re a fast, up-tempo team."

Reilly’s father is a minority owner of the Wild, and his two brothers – Connor and Ryan – also play for the Gophers. Ryan will be a senior and Connor will be a redshirt junior. All three played high school hockey at Holy Angels.

Next Up

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.


Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.