The Minnesota Wild are about to avoid restricted free agency with Connor Dewar, as Michael Russo of The Athletic reports the two sides are closing in on a two-year, one-way contract. Dewar is coming off his entry-level deal and would not be eligible for arbitration this offseason. Financial details have not yet been disclosed.
Selected 92nd overall in 2018, Dewar made quick work of the AHL and was in the NHL on a regular basis this season. In 35 games for Minnesota, he scored two goals and six points, while racking up 25 penalty minutes–including a fight against Mackenzie Entwhistle that quickly endeared him to fans. In the minor leagues, he showed that he has outgrown the AHL by racking up 17 points in 19 games, offensive numbers that continued the upward trend that he has followed to this point.
An option as a fourth-line center for the Wild next season, a one-way contract does suggest that Dewar has the inside track for a roster spot in 2022-23. Given that the 22-year-old is no longer waiver-exempt gives him another advantage in that regard, as does what is likely a relatively inexpensive cap hit. With Minnesota dealing with a tricky financial situation thanks to massive buyout penalties, young, cheap forwards like Dewar will be incredibly important.
There is still plenty of work to do for general manager Bill Guerin. While Kevin Fiala may end up traded instead of extended, there are plenty of other restricted free agents that need new contracts, including Jacob Middleton, one of the team’s deadline acquisitions.