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Brodin, Zucker, And Jones Could All Play Thursday

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

TORONTO -- Defenseman Jonas Brodin, and forwards Jason Zucker and David Jones all practiced with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday before the team departed for a two-game road trip.

The former two have been out with injuries: Brodin has missed the past 13 games with a broken foot, and Zucker the past five with a concussion. Jones was acquired by the Wild from the Calgary Flames on Monday prior to the NHL trade deadline.

It's possible all three could be in the lineup on Thursday when the Wild plays the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We definitely want to stay healthy, and it's going to be competitive getting in the lineup now," interim Head Coach John Torchetti said. "Certain guys are playing well, and you have to work to stay in there, and other guys have to wait their turn to get in.

"I like the way we're playing, and as we go along, we'll pick and choose who we feel fits in certain spots, and gets the opportunity."

Brodin was activated off Injured Reserve on Monday, and took morning skate on Tuesday before the Wild defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 6-3, to move into the second wild card spot into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I just talked to Torch, and he asked me if I'm ready, and I just told him I'm ready," Brodin said. "I feel good. I had a couple of practices on the ice, so I felt good here today. I think I'm ready for tomorrow's game."

Zucker, who sustained a concussion against the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Coors Light Stadium Series game, also took skate on Tuesday, and is getting closer to a return.

"We're going to work him really hard, see how his conditioning is, and how he feels again," Torchetti said.

Jones, whose equipment didn't make it with him on the flight to Minnesota from Philadelphia earlier this week, could make his Wild debut in Toronto. He was a full participant in practice, getting time during a power-play drill as he gets his feet wet.

"He had a good practice," Torchetti said. "He has good size — I like the size — and good hands. It's not much pressure out there, so just get him loose, and try to fit him in the lineup maybe tomorrow, and go from there."

The trio will jump into the fold on a team that, for the first time since Jan. 25, woke up on Wednesday in a playoff spot.

It's a much different spot than the Wild found itself in when Brodin sustained his injury on Feb. 4. The Wild had just lost the fourth of what would become an eight-game losing streak.

"I'm excited to get back to the guys and start playing games," Brodin said. "The guys are playing good right now. It's fun to watch, but at the same time, you still want to be in there and help the team. I'm excited to be back and work hard."

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