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.