The Minnesota Wild are working toward signing prospect Steve Michalek after the NCAA decided not to grant the Harvard goaltender an additional year of eligibility, according to the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.
#mnwild working to sign draft pick Stephen Michalek. The NCAA didn't grant the Harvard goalie another year of eligibility
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) June 19, 2015
Michalek lost a year of eligibility when he was found to be a part of an academic scandal at Harvard that caught many students cheating, including four hockey players.
Michalek had a solid season for Harvard that included an impressive 63-save performance in the Bean Pot Tournament. He played 37 games for the Crimson, posting a 2.28 goals against average and a .924 save percentage for the second straight season.
With Michalek out of eligibility in the NCAA, it seems that the Wild are trying to put him on an ELC, likely to join the Iowa Wild. The 21-year-old goaltender would become a part of an unclear situation in Minnesota’s net that should start to clarify in the coming weeks.
At the AHL level, the Wild would then have Michalek and NCAA free agent signee Brody Hoffman, with John Curry exiting as a free agent and prospect Johan Gustafsson returning to Sweden following two difficult seasons in Iowa.
At the NHL level the team is still hoping to sign Devan Dubnyk, but talks have been slow so far. They have Darcy Kuemper on contract, as well as Niklas Backstrom, whose elbow surgery will likely prevent the team from buying out the remaining year on his contract.
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