The Minnesota Wild have announced the re-signing of fan favorite Stephane Veilleux to a two year two-way deal. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but he’ll make a heck of a lot more money playing a few games for the NHL squad than with the Iowa Wild. I’m sure though the fan base in Iowa will fall in love with Veilleux. The 31-year old is his his second stint with the Wild after being acquired via trade with the New Jersey Devils February 24th 2012. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of St. Georges de Beauce, Que. played 21 games with the Wild to finish that season. Last year he put in time in Houston with the Aeros Skating in 33 contests potting 3 goals and 5 assists to go with 45 penalty minutes. Know as a high energy 3rd to 4th line winger Veilleux is a good skater and hard, HARD hitter. He was the Wild’s hit leader until Cal Clutterbuck arrived on the scene and basically made Veilleux expendable.
Veilleux ranks eighth on the franchise’s all-time games played list and 10th in PIM. He scored 92 points, 43 goals and 49 assists to go with 269 PIM’s in 382 games with the Wild. He was originally acquired by the Wild in the 2001 NHL entry draft, 93rd overall in the third round. Veilleux played Canadian juniors playing three seasons in the QMJHL, registering 69 goals and 112 assists for 181 points in 205 games. He is one of the Wild’s better third round picks in their history. Yes I know that’s a rather short list, but hey it’s the truth. There are just three other Minnesota 3rd rounders who made the show, Matt Hackett, Cal Clutterbuck, and Clayton Stoner. Minnesota chose not to re-sign Veilleux when his contract ended after the 2008-09 season and he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2009-10 season. He spent the 2010-11 season playing in Europe with Blues Espoo in Finland and HC Ambri-Piotta in Switzerland. Veilleux returned to the NHL the following year playing in the New Jersy Devils organization splitting itme between the NHL club and the Albany Devils. He also has some 13 games of playoff experience with the Wild over three seasons including 2 this year against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Veilleux has recorded 101 points, 46 goals and 55 assists totaling 101 points over 460 career NHL games. He’s also accumulated 317 PIM’s and won’t back down from a scrum or fight. Stephane is a great chirper and can get under an opponents skin. He’s also know as a great team mate that is an asset to the locker room. One other tid-bit, Veilleux is an excellent table tennis player. I mean really, really good. He’s usually the best on his team and there’s some good ones in the league. Veilleux is also excellent with fans always ready to sign an auto or pose for a picture. You still see some older Veilleus sweaters around the Xcel Energy Center on game nights.
Stephane Veilleux should be an asset to the Wild this season as a call up when needed or he could possibly make the team out of camp. He brings some grit and tenacity to the team, something that was missing at time last season. He’s a hard fore checker and sees the ice well. Veilleux is one of those players who come to the rink everyday ready to work hard and contribute. His enthusiasm is infectious and I for one am glad to see the Wild re-sign him.