The Minnesota Wild signed first round draft pick Joel Eriksson Ek to a three-year contract Monday.
The Wild drafted Eriksson Ek with the 20th pick in last month's NHL draft. Last year, he tallied six points (four goals, two assists) in 34 games with Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League. The 18-year-old added 32 points (21 goals, 11 assists) in 25 games with Farjestad's Junior team.
"We're excited to officially have Joel under contract," said Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said in a statement released by the team. "He's a top young player with an exciting package of size, skill, hockey sense and character. We are committed to working with him in the development process and look forward to seeing him in a Wild uniform in the near future."
Eriksson Ek also has international experience. He notched six points (five goals, one assist) in five games for Sweden at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship – leading his country in goals and ranked tied for first in scoring.
He drew rave reviews following the Wild's prospect development camp. Hockey Wilderness calls Eriksson Ek a "two-way forward through and through."
"The more I saw of him, the more I got excited for what he could become. His goal was started by a good play from Jordan Greenway, but it doesn't happen without Eriksson Ek going to the net as well. His line was in the White zone for long stretches of time, which is a good sign for a young guy learning how to play a possession-style game against older competition."
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Despite signing with the Wild, Eriksson Ek still has two years remaining on his contract with Farjestads. The Star Tribunes' Michael Russo reports that he expects Eriksson Ek to return there for this season.
If you want to see him in action, Wild prospects will have a development camp-ending scrimmage on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center.