Matt Boldy will be in St. Paul on Thursday night. While he won’t be in uniform when the Minnesota Wild host Game 3 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against Las Vegas, the question is, will he be at some point in the series?
Boldy, a 20-year-old winger who was drafted 12th overall in 2019, is the highlight name among the six Iowa Wild players that were recalled to the parent club on Wednesday.
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The ‘Black Aces’ — a group that also includes forwards Connor Dewar and Brandon Duhaime, defensemen Calen Addison and Louie Belpedio and goalie Hunter Jones. — are members of the Wild’s taxi squad for the postseason. The aces will hold practice to stay prepared and and can be inserted into the lineup if-and-when needed.
That isn’t going to be in Game 3 at the Xcel Energy Center.
But there are fans who hope a change is sooner rather than later. Minnesota has managed just one goal in regulation in splitting the first two games of the series in Las Vegas. It’s why Boldy’s offensive skills makes him an appealing addition to a Wild lineup that is trying to find a way to solve Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Boldy managed six goals and 18 points in 14 games in Iowa. Before that, he had 11 goals and 31 points in 22 games with Boston College. this past season as a collegiate sophomore and was named a Hobey Baker Award Top Ten Finalist.
He signed a three-year entry contract with Minnesota after the Eagles were eliminated by St. Cloud State in the Northeast Regional Final. Boldy had a goal and an assist in his debut with Iowa, a 4-1 win over Chicago on April 9.
Michael Russo of The Athletic asked Wild coach Dean Evason about the Black Aces and Boldy specifically during a media availability session on Wednesday. Evason said the team is not afraid to make changes to place individuals in the lineup, “if they warrant to play.” He added that Nashville used 18 or 19 forwards when the Predators made a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
“They will be prepared,” Evason said. “All of them will be prepared, Boldy included. We need everybody to be ready. He’s no different. ”
While the addition of Boldy might be what fans want to see, it should be noted that has only played in a small percentage of an AHL season. Having him go against the Golden Knights in the playoffs would be a tough scenario for anyone to make a pro debut on
It might be more likely that the Wild turn to Zach Parise if they make any lineup changes in the series. Parise has been a healthy scratch for both games against the Golden Knights. Parise scored just seven times and 18 points in the regular season, but goes to the net and gets the ‘greasy-type’ of goals that the Wild might need in this series.
“We’ll make decisions, we’ll communicate and hopefully make the right ones,” Evason said about potential lineup changes during his media availability.