From The Ice

Minnesota Wild recall Joel Eriksson-Ek from AHL

2 OCT 2016: Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (54) is congratulated by the Wild bench after left wing Jason Zucker (16) scored in the 3rd period to make it 3-1 during the preseason matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

The Minnesota Wild have once again reassigned defenseman Mike Reilly to the AHL’s Iowa Wild, meaning he’s been up and down twice already in the young season.

This time, though, his reassignment came with an intriguing recall.

The Wild confirmed on Saturday afternoon that Joel Eriksson-Ek, the team’s first round pick from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, has been called up to the NHL club. He could made his NHL debut, as a result, with just one game of AHL experience under his belt on the year.

Selected 20th overall last summer, the 19-year-old Eriksson-Ek has spent the last two seasons playing in the Swedish Hockey League for Farjestads BK Karlstad. Last year, he was good for 15 points in 41 regular season games for the pro club, putting him tenth on the team in scoring as an 18-year-old forward. This year, he has one goal in one AHL game while with Iowa.

The Wild have been trying to utilize blue liner Reilly as much as possible this season, recalling him and reassigning him in order to give him as much playing time in both the AHL and NHL as possible. Seeing the club recall Eriksson-Ek so early, as well, could mean that they hope to do something similar with the forward; rather than leaving him exclusively in the AHL or letting him serve as an occasional extra forward in the NHL, they could want to give him more opportunities at both levels.

The Central Division club will next play tonight, when they face the New Jersey Devils.

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