The Minnesota Wild are going to say goodbye to a prospect that never could quite reach the next level. Dmitry Sokolov will not be tendered a qualifying offer from the Wild according to Michael Russo of The Athletic, meaning he will become an unrestricted free agent. The young forward has already signed a contract in the VHL, meaning he wasn’t going to return to the Iowa Wild anyway, but with this, the Wild will also forfeit his rights.
Sokolov, 23, was a seventh-round pick by the Wild in 2016, who always came with plenty of question marks. His conditioning and skating were both inconsistent, and though he showed an excellent scoring ability, could not impact the rest of the game in a positive way. Despite those issues, the Wild still gave him a chance, signing him to a three-year entry-level contract in 2018, hoping to fix some of the problems and create an NHL player.
In 2018-19, his first year of AHL hockey, there were some promising signs. He scored 16 goals and 30 points in 60 games, seemingly committed to his development in the minor league level. Unfortunately, that development has stalled in the years since, with Sokolov recording just three goals and four points in 14 games this season for the Wild.
Russo also mentions Alexander Khovanov, who the Wild hope to bring back to North America after spending this year in Russia. Khovanov, 21, was the team’s third-round pick in 2018 and scored 99 points in 51 games for the Moncton Wildcats in 2019-20. Russo tweets that it “sounds like” the young center will return, meaning he’ll be in line for some AHL time under his entry-level contract.