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On the eve of the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal, the Wild continued to fill out their roster ahead of next season.
In a highly anticipated move, general manager Bill Guerin signed defenseman Jake Middleton to a 3-year, $7.35 million contract on Wednesday evening. The deal keeps the 26-year-old Middleton around through the 2024-25 season.
Not bad for a guy that was the literal last pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Though there’s nothing flashy about the way in which Middleton plays the game, he made his presence felt as soon as the Wild acquired him from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline in exchange for goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Not only did Middleton provide a sense of security with his willingness to drop the gloves, his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame served as a perfect complement to captain Jared Spurgeon on the blue line. More than likely that top pairing will stay the same heading into next season.