The Minnesota Wild signed Hungarian stand-out goaltender Adam Vay to a 2-year entry level contract yesterday. Vay an experienced minor leaguer had a great World Championship tourney and promises to add great depth to the Wild goaltending corps.
The Minnesota Wild made a move to improve their goaltending depth yesterday with the signing of Adam Vay of Team Hungary fame. Although the Hungarians have had a rough tournament in the IIHF World Championship, Vay stood out as a superior performer. So much so that it caught the eye of the Wild scouts.
Vay’s deal is two-year entry-level contract for a currently undisclosed amount. This contract offer was made despite the fact that Vay lost his two starts against Finland and the United States, as well as falling to Canada in a relief start. Still it was how Vay lost that led to the Wild’s offer. He made 35 saves against the US, 48 saves gainst Finland, and stopped 11 of 12 shots against Canada.
Vay also brings experience from the Hungarian professional hockey last season with 2.77 GAA, a .927 SV%, and two shutouts. Additionally, Vay has been successful in North America with El Paso of the WSHL from 2013 to 2015. According to Wild.com he backstopped the Rhinos to a Thorn Cup WSHL league championship in 2014, with a league leading 1.76 GAA and .936 SV%.
Vay is by no means ready for NHL action, but should be ready to compete for a spot in AHL Iowa. With Leland Irving cementing his spot as the starter in Iowa, Vay should be in good place to battle for the back-up netminder spot against Steven Michalek and Brody Hoffman. Still it should be said that making the jump from lower leagues to the AHL is not easy task.
Perhaps what is more intriguing is the fact that signing Vay gives the Wild more options for goaltending. With a possible Darcy Kuemper trade in the works, the Wild may be looking to get a goaltending shot in the arm. If Kuemper moves and the Wild make no other moves for a backup goaltender, it looks as if the previous 1st round pick Irving could be promoted back into the NHL to backup Dubnyk.
Also it should be noted that this is a shrewd move by GM Chuck Fletcher in a time when there are very few draft picks in the cupboard. Signing international free-agents is a great way to bolster a team’s depth outside the draft. After all, one of the greatest Wild goaltenders Niklas Backstrom was never actually drafted into the NHL, he signed as a free agent out of Finnish elite league.
With the 22-year old Vay the Wild have another goaltending prospect and more options at the position. His outstanding play in the Worlds despite a horrible defense was outstanding. As he moves into the AHL he’ll be expected to do the same thing, and if he can it’ll be no time before you see him in some NHL action.