Wild Smartly Planning for the Future with Matt Boldy Extension

The Minnesota Wild have locked down forward Matt Boldy with a seven-year, $49 million contract worth $7 million annually that runs through the 2029-30 season. Boldy was set to become a restricted free agent (RFA) this summer. With the offensive production and confidence that head coach Dean Evason has shown toward Boldy this season, it was no surprise that the young forward was given this great contract.

Matt Boldy Minnesota Wild
Matt Boldy, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Wild fans should be happy about this deal, as Boldy has made a name for himself since Minnesota drafted him 12th overall in 2019. During the 2020-21 season, Boldy registered 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 47 games. He’s continued his offensive production by putting up 12 goals and 17 assists in 42 games this season. Not only are these sustainable numbers, but they are set to climb if Boldy continues to improve his game.

Though the young forward isn’t quite there yet, he could become Kaprizov’s new partner in crime when Mats Zuccarello’s play starts to decline.

Boldy’s Selling Point

Boldy has shown flashes of brilliance in his short time with the club. He hasn’t yet hit his ceiling, and the organization clearly believes that he will be a key part of the club’s future. In fact, Boldy impressed the Wild’s front office so much that they were willing to give Boldy an average annual value of $7 million and happily deal with the aftermath, even though this likely means that they will have to move rostered players in the near future.

With his offensive awareness and keen vision, he has put up impressive numbers, including 27 career goals and 68 points in 89 games with the Wild, smashing the 50-point mark in just 60 games, making him the second-fastest player in franchise history to do so.

In early January, he was promoted to the top line with Sam Steel and Kirill Kaprizov after Zuccarello was injured but returned to the third line when Zuccarello was healthy. When Boldy did get a shot to play with Kaprizov, it was clear that he relied heavily on the Russian’s playmaking. Boldy has to start thinking of himself as someone other players can rely on.

This isn’t to take anything away from Boldy’s explosive start with the Wild. According to Joe Smith of The Athletic, “Boldy sits second on the Wild in shots and ranks fourth in scoring, goals, power-play points (15) and power-play goals (five) so far this season” (from “Wild sign Matt Boldy to 7-year, $49 million extension: How this impacts Minnesota’s cap space,” The Athletic, Jan. 16, 2023).

Why Sign Boldy Now?

Given the Wild’s tight cap situation, it made sense to sign Boldy now. The organization has $9 million in cap space to sign Calen Addison, Brandon Duhaime, Mason Shaw, Sam Steel, and Filip Gustavsson, and the front office will have to work some magic to keep all these players around for next season.

Related: Wild By the Numbers: Midseason Report

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The Wild will surely be looking to move some players ahead of the trade deadline to make room for these signings, and there have been rumors that the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have shown interest in Matt Dumba, which could open up $6 million of cap space. However, Dumba would have to waive his modified no-trade clause (NTC) for a deal to be made.

Wild’s Future Is Bright

Boldy is just the third Wild player to be signed through at least the 2028-29 season, including Jonas Brodin ($6 million cap hit through 2027-28) and Joel Eriksson Ek ($5.25 million cap hit through 2028-29). Kaprizov, the Wild’s franchise player, is signed through the 2025-26 season with a cap hit of $9 million, and team captain Jared Spurgeon has a contract through the 2026-27 season with a cap hit of $7.575 million.

With the signings of one of the club’s best players, the Wild’s future as a serious contender is bright. Minnesota is in third place in the Central Division, five points behind the Dallas Stars, with two games in hand.

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