A new face arrived in the Minnesota Wild locker room just as a familiar one readies to return to the ice.
Head Coach Mike Yeo said Devan Dubnyk, returning from a groin injury, will start in goal on Thursday night against the New York Rangers – the same team the newest member of the Wild, Jarret Stoll, was on the roster for at the beginning of the week.
“I knew the road trip was coming up this week and I knew when we were flying to Minnesota and I had a chuckle about it for sure,” Stoll said. “A lot of the guys on the Rangers have been texting already. An ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’ type of thing, so it is what it is. I’m just excited … to get started here.”
Yeo has not said whether or not Stoll will debut against the Rangers, but has said he’s impressed by video he has watched so far and what he remembers of Stoll from his days with the Los Angeles Kings.
“He plays the game hard,” Yeo said. “He plays the game physical. He’s an honest player, but he’s got some sandpaper to his game. He’s a guy who is going to be responsible defensively."
As a young player Dubnyk spent time with Stoll when they were both with the Edmonton Oilers organization. Though Dubnyk never played with Stoll, he got to know him through offseason camps.
“He’s extremely, extremely hard working,” Dubnyk said. “He’s got a great shot and is unreal on the penalty kill. I think that will be a great addition for us for killing penalties but he has a got a great shot too and can put the puck in the net at the other end if he gets an opportunity.”
Dubnyk talked about Stoll, but his primary focus is getting ready to step back into the net for the Wild after missing the past four-plus games with his injury. He said he feels good and doesn’t think there will be any rust in his game.
“It hasn’t felt long and practices have felt good," Dubnyk said. "[It’s like] those three to four day breaks at the start of the year you have to go through. This is a little bit longer but I feel good about my game right now so I’ll try to go have some fun.”
WILD WEEKLY ON KFAN
Kevin Falness will be joined by Jason Zucker on tonight’s Wild Weekly program at 7 pm on KFAN 100.3.