While there will certainly be bigger fish to fry in the coming weeks – the status of Kevin Fiala’s contract is the first thing that comes to mind – Wild general manager Bill Guerin made a small move Wednesday afternoon that has the potential to make a big impact next time. season.
Weeks before free agency opens in the NHL, the Wild signed Connor Dewar to a two-year, $1.6 million contract that runs through the 2023–24 season. He was scheduled to become a restricted free agent next month.
Most important to the 23-year-old Dewar is the fact that this is a one-way deal, meaning he will be paid his annual average of $800,000 whether he’s in the NHL or the AHL. He used to play on a two-way deal, which meant he got a higher stake when he was at the top in the NHL and a lower stake when he lost in the AHL.
It’s a good sign that Dewar will become a regular in the NHL next season. Why else would the Wild agree to pay him the same salary no matter what level he plays?
After making his NHL debut on October 28 last season, Dewar played 35 games for the Wild in the regular season, becoming a valuable player at the bottom of the roster. He made his NHL playoff debut on May 12 in a Game 6 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Going into next season, Dewar is likely to play from a penalty kick, which he has already proven to be more than at a high level. He had good chemistry with former AHL teammate Brandon Duheim, so it won’t be a shock to see them reunite next season.
Selected in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Dewar, at 5ft 10in and weighing 175lbs, had gotten his teeth in junior high before being drafted. He scored 59 points (26 goals, 33 assists) in 103 career games for the Iowa Wild of the AHL.