Minnesota Wild: Joel Eriksson Ek could do with some time with Iowa Wild

The Minnesota Wild would be wise to send Joel Eriksson Ek to work with the Iowa Wild for a weekend or two. It won’t be great for the player’s ego, but could be a very useful boost to his self-confidence.

It wouldn’t be without precedence for the Minnesota Wild either; they were duly rewarded upon sending Jordan Greenway to play a weekend with the Iowa Wild. He scored a hat-trick in the American Hockey League before netting his first regular season NHL goal upon his return. Joel Eriksson Ek could do with the same confidence boost.

Some players thrive upon facing elite competition and it elevates their game. Others, it takes playing slightly lesser competition to find their stride, but once they find it, they’re fine.

I think, much like his teammate Jordan Greenway, this is exactly the case for Joel Eriksson Ek.

All it will take is for the General Manager, Paul Fenton to realise this and give his young player a chance to shake it off with the Iowa Wild team.

Is that really such a bad thing?

I mean, if Joel Eriksson Ek wasn’t waivers exempt and had to be put at risk of a claim to be sent to the minors, sure I’d be concerned. But this is a player that offers no risk to Minnesota by sending him down.

I’d really like to see the move happen; I don’t think he’s benefiting from essentially fourth line minutes in the NHL. He could slot in comfortably on the second line, if not the first line for the Iowa Wild.

What’s more, he could be given further increased penalty-kill looks to make him even more beneficial once he’s back with Bruce Boudreau and the Minnesota Wild.

What I see is a win-win situation; Joel Eriksson Ek as a player gets a little time to find his game, pick up some decent minutes and come back to the Minnesota Wild as a more-rounded and more confident player.

The Iowa Wild gets an NHL level player, at least short-term and additional support on the penalty kill. Their veterans get to work at ensuring Eriksson Ek fits in and lo and behold, you turn a guy around over a singular weekend.

Next: Matt Dumba closing ice-time gap on Ryan Suter

And all round, everyone wins – how can anyone lose realistically?