May 9, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Fans gather outside of the Xcel Energy Center prior to the game between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks in game four of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Wild Bring Forward Cody Almond Back To The NHL

The Wild have signed forward Cody Almond to a one-year one-way contract worth $550,000, according to the Star Tribune. The team will announce the signing today.

You may recognize that name. Almond was a 5th Round Wild draft pick in 2007 and appeared in games for three straight seasons starting with the 2009-10 season. Through those three seasons bouncing between the Wild and the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, Almond played 25 games, tallying two goals, no assists, 26 penalty minutes, and a minus-8 rating. (You may also recognize him from Scott Drain’s profile of Almond here at GPW.)

Almond left the U.S. to play in Geneva, Switzerland for the last two seasons. He had a particularly strong performance last season, totaling 18 goals and 16 assists through 44 games. Almond never signed with the Wild as a restricted free agent, so the Wild still had his negotiating rights for a return to the NHL.

He’s returning to the NHL having put a few pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame, now weighing in at 217, according to the Star Tribune. Almond is a left-shot center who is capable of playing wing. That makes him a versatile depth signing that provides some insurance for the third and fourth lines.

According to Cap Geek that deal would put the Wild with around $12.8M in cap space. However they have not yet signed any restricted free agents, which includes pending contracts for Darcy Kuemper, Nino Niederreiter, Justin Fontaine, Jason Zucker, and Jonathon Blum.

UPDATE (7/9/14): The Wild have made the signing official.

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