ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo has his roster for the regular-season opener this week.
Yeo has cautioned the final roster isn’t permanent though.
Minnesota assigned forwards Jason Zucker, Jake Dowell and Brett Bulmer to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on Sunday to get to the 23-player roster limit for the regular season. Minnesota opens the season on Thursday at home against the Los Angeles Kings after going 4-2 in the preseason.
Yeo has said the roster could change during the season, based on which players are playing well and what type of team he wants to match up with opponents. With many players on rookie contracts, the Wild have flexibility.
The opening night roster features 13 forwards, including injured Mike Rupp, eight defenseman and goaltenders Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding. Yeo said last week Rupp is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season.
Bulmer was injured and didn’t practice during training camp. Dowell played in three preseason games.
Zucker was competing for the final roster spot, which appears to have gone to center Mikael Granlund for now. Zucker had one assist in four preseason games, but Yeo admitted he wasn’t happy with Zucker’s play at the end of the preseason.
Assigning Zucker, Dowell and Bulmer means young forwards Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine made the roster.
Defenseman Mathew Dumba, the team’s 2012 first-round pick, also made the roster for now instead of being reassigned to his junior team. Dumba is just 19 years old.