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Fletcher Says Stoll Will Fill Niches For Wild

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

After considering signing forward Jarret Stoll this summer, Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said when he got a second chance at Stoll, "we just grabbed him." 

The Wild claimed Stoll off waivers on Tuesday from the New York Rangers, and Fletcher said the right-shot center known for his faceoff prowess will be a good fit for the Wild.

"We haven't had one of those in a few months," Fletcher said. "It's the right time to add a player. Losing some of the guys last summer — [Chris Stewart] and [Kyle Brodziak] in particular — we lost some veteran depth."

Stoll brings to the Wild his pedigree of having won two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings, in 2012 and 2014.

His skill set is such that, "he'll get a lot of ice time in different roles," according to Fletcher, and can be used situationally, however Head Coach Mike Yeo sees fit.

"A very good penalty-killer, a top faceoff guy, a guy that excels on the right side of the ice, which still has not been our strength in faceoffs," Fletcher said. "He shoots the puck really well, he's a guy that's put up points in his career, but I think at this point, at least to start looking at him to come in and play maybe more of a checking, PK, late-game, defensive type of role."

Fletcher said he could envision Stoll in a variety of spots. His ability to play in the middle gives the Wild the flexibility to move Charlie Coyle back to right wing, or keep Coyle in the middle, and use Stoll elsewhere.

"Maybe all of it" Fletcher said. "What I look at is, we've had a lot of recalls already, and we're healthy up front now — knock on wood — but we've had a lot of recalls right now. He'll give us depth. I have a hard time believing we'll have too many players the way the Western Conference works out."

Stoll's presence will give the Wild two of the most effective faceoff takers in the NHL. Stoll currently ranks seventh in the League with a 57.9 faceoff percentage; Mikko Koivu is tied for 20th at 55.4 percent.

"At the trading deadline, usually you have to give up assets to get veteran players," Fletcher said. "We were fortunate. The problem with waivers is you only get 24 hours to make a decision, and the fact that we had spent a lot of time this summer investigating Jarret, and speaking to people, and speaking with the agent, and looking into the situation helped us make a quicker decision."

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