The Minnesota Wild have signed former University of New Hampshire standout Grayson Downing. Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher announced Downing has signed a two-year entry-level contract starting next season.
Downing led New Hampshire in goals with 21 last season, and he also ranked second on the team in scoring with 36 points. He finished tied for 3rd in Hockey East and tied for 13th in the NCAA.
Over his career, Downing tallied 112 points (56 goals, 56 assists) in four seasons with the Wildcats.
The Pioneer Press' Chad Graff says Downing appears excited to join the Wild.
"That's my style of game," Downing told the Pioneer Press. "I'm definitely looking forward to getting in and making my stamp on the organization."
At 6 feet, 200 pounds, Downing has good size. According to Pro Hockey Talk, he will report to the Wild's AHL affiliate in Iowa.
According to the Star Tribune's Michael Russo, Downing probably won't be ready to join the Wild next year.
"It's likely too soon for him to compete for a roster spot next season, but after trading so many draft picks the past few years and with so many of its top prospects playing in college, the Wild's trying to add some depth and skill to Iowa next season."
Russo notes the Wild also plan to pursue other college, junior and European free agents.