Minnesota Wild: Jordan Schroeder Should Not Be Re-Signed

Jordan Schroeder enters the offseason looking to sign a new restricted-free-agent contract with the Minnesota Wild, and according to GM Chuck Fletcher he’ll get that new contract.  Still given his production at the NHL level and the need to save cap space to bring in other players, should the Wild tender him an offer?

The Minnesota Wild are most likely in the final phases of formulating their offseason plans.  By all indications there will be a shake-up in the roster with some players possibly not making it back with the team.  With so many choices to be made one thing is clear some players will not be back with the organization next year in order to free up every little bit of precious cap space.  Bottom line some of the fringe players of the Wild could become victims of the team’s plans to acquire new players.

One of those fringe players Jordan Schroeder, has seen time up with Minnesota and down with Iowa over the last two seasons with the Wild.  The University of Minnesota product has enjoyed mediocre at best success in the NHL, while in the AHL he’s excelled as a slightly above average player.  This offseason though the Wild are faced with the decision of whether or not to re-sign the RFA to his second contract with the Wild.

GM Chuck Fletcher has already given his stamp of approval on a possible re-up of Schroeder.  According to Fletcher “I think Dalpe and Schroeder, our RFA’s, I believe we’re going to qualify them. They both they showed they can play up here and they’re stars when they play in the American League.”  That’s a strong statement that says you can expect to see Schroeder tendered a qualifying offer and be back with the team again next season.  But is qualifying Schroeder the right thing to do?

Oct 10, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Schroeder (10) in the second period against the St Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild beat the St Louis Blues 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As far as NHL performance Schroeder has played in 107 NHL games and only produced 27 points.  For the Wild last year in he was only able to put up 2 goals and 2 assists in 26 games, not exactly the numbers you should be seeing from a 25-year-old forward who is a former 22nd overall pick.  As he gets older the probability of him improving on those numbers decreases significantly.

Sure Schroeder has shown potential at other levels throughout his playing days.  With the Gophers he was WCHA Rookie-of-the-Year in 2008-09 and notched 73 points in two seasons.  In the AHL he has tallied 177 points in 267 games played putting in solid performances for four different teams.  That would be why Fletcher could call him a star in the AHL, because he’s put up star numbers in that league.

So why have his successes in college and the AHL not translated to the NHL?  Simply is that Schroeder is undersized for an NHL center and is struggling to find his game.  Schroeder only stands at meager 5 foot 9 inches with 180 pounds of mass and is often asked to play on the fourth line where he is out sized by his opponents at the NHL level.  Plenty of NHL players have overcome being under-sized with outstanding play, Schroeder has not done this at the NHL level.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the Wild are Schroeder’s second NHL franchise as the Canucks did not retender him after his initial contract.  Vancouver decided that his twice fractured left ankle, and repaired shoulder meant he’d never be able to realize his full potential.

The Wild thought he’d be able to recover, but since his production is largely the same as it was with Vancouver and its AHL affiliates it’s safe to say that Schroeder may not have much else in the tank.  And to add to all of that this year at the IIHF World Championship Schroeder had an abysmal tournament. He was able to muster up 19 shots on goal, but was unable to convert those shots into any goals.  A lone assist was his only point in the tournament, and to top it off he finished at minus 3.

Sure as an RFA Schroeder will be relatively easy to re-sign, but even his modest $600,000 cap hit could be used elsewhere.  Is it really worth the money to resign him just to see if he’ll finally find that NHL success?  Right now the signs point to more of the same production from Schroeder.  For a team looking to make improvements that same production from Schroeder just isn’t enough when the team needs add pieces.  The Wild would be smart to not qualify him and recapitalize his salary into a proven NHL talent, not a talent that is still looking to prove himself at age 25.