Minnesota Wild prospect and 2014 6th round draft pick Reid Duke was the subject of much discussion this week after he was a no-show for camp with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.
Neate Seager of Buzzing the Net noted in an early article on Duke’s situation that “it is not unheard of for a player who was drafted later than anticipated to ask for a trade as he works on the next step of getting signed.” Duke, who has great speed and scored a pair of goal in the second development camp scrimmage in July, may feel that he was drafted later than he hoped because the Hurricanes have had a rough run, missing the playoffs for five consecutive years. That likely played a part in a number of players asking for trades from the Southern Alberta team in recent seasons.
This summer he, as far as has been reported, has not requested a trade, but he does appear to be open to playing for another team. USHL scout and University of Wisconsin Badger hockey blogger Andy Johnson noted on Saturday, after Reid was a no-show, that the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL had added Duke to their protected list, indicating that there was at least some interest in Duke from the USHL club. (Also worth noting that Hockey Buzz’s Tony Dean notes a source told him that Duke requested a trade last season.)
Waterloo (USHL) added Reid Duke to its protected list. Minn Wild draft pick played in WHL w/ Lethbridge last year but didn’t report to camp.
— Andy Johnson (@AndyJohnsonB5Q) August 24, 2014
Following his no-show it was reported that Hurricanes GM Brad Robson suspended Duke for not showing up.
Reid Duke has NOT reported to @WHLHurricanes camp after being given 2pm deadline. GM Brad Robson says he’s been suspended for not reporting.
— Pat Siedlecki (@radiopat258) August 22, 2014
Now it looks like interest in Duke from Waterloo has ebbed and he’ll be returning to Lethbridge after all. Robson is reportedly working toward finding a solution to bring Duke back into the fold.
Agent tells me Reid Duke will report to Lethbridge in ‘matter of days’ – USHL ‘took a flyer on him’ won’t happen. Good news for Canes fans.
— Darrell Romuld (CTV) (@CTVDarrell) August 26, 2014
(1/2) Spoke with @WHLHurricanes GM Brad Robson late this morning. Tells me he’s working hard to resolve the Reid Duke issue.
— Pat Siedlecki (@radiopat258) August 26, 2014
Duke may benefit from moving to a better program after three seasons in the WHL, but he’ll remain with the Hurricanes, where he scored 15 goals and 25 assists last season, for now. But that makes a couple of Wild prospects who have been having somewhat unexpected summers.
Watch an interview with Reid Duke following July’s development camp, including footage of his goals:
Read a Q & A between Duke and Wild.com’s Mike Doyle.