Bjugstad signs one-year, $900,000 contract with Wild

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Nick Bjugstad signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

The 28-year-old forward could have become an unrestricted free agent July 28.

Bjugstad scored 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 44 games this season, his first with the Wild. He was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sept. 11, 2020.

He scored one goal in six Stanley Cup Playoff games; the Wild lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games in the Stanley Cup First Round.

Selected by the Florida Panthers in the first round (No. 19) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Bjugstad has scored 224 points (103 goals, 121 assists) in 483 regular-season games with the Wild, Penguins and Panthers, and five points (three goals, two assists) in 15 playoff games.

The Wild signed forward Joel Eriksson Ek to an eight-year, $42 million contract ($5.25 million average annual value) on Friday. He could have become a restricted free agent July 28.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin said contract talks are expected to continue this week with forward Kirill Kaprizov. The 24-year-old led Minnesota and NHL rookies in goals (27) and points (51) and was voted the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

Forward Kevin Fiala, who was second on the Wild to Kaprizov with 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists), also can become a restricted free agent.

“I think it’s just a matter of finding a fair middle ground and what works best for both sides,” Guerin said Saturday. “I think that’s true with any deal. [Eriksson Ek] signed an eight-year deal. That might not be the case for [Fiala], and it might be the case for [Kaprizov]. We don’t know. It could be flip-flopped. I don’t know. It all just depends on years and dollars and what we can afford to pay and what we can fit in. That’s pretty much it.”

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