The Minnesota Wild have started the offseason by inking an eight-year contract with one of the young centers in the league while securing the return of a forward.

Minnesota and Joel Eriksson Ek have agreed on an eight-year contract worth $42 million to keep the 24-year-old center in Minnesota. Eriksson Ek has been with the Wild since he was drafted 20th overall in the NHL Early Entry Draft of 2015.

The 6'1 center has appeared in 266 regular-season games and 19 playoff games during his NHL career. During his tenure with the Wild, Eriksson Ek has 43 goals and 53 assists through his regular-season games and he also accounted for three goals and two assists in his 19 playoff games.

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Minnesota wasn't done quite yet in regards to getting talent re-signed this offseason. The team also announced that forward Nick Bjugstad will stay in St. Paul for the upcoming season. Bjustad agreed to a new one-year contract extension worth $900,000.

Bjugstad will enter the 2021-22 season coming off a season in which he appeared in 44 games for the Wild and accounted for 17 total points. The 28-year-old scored six goals and had 11 assists last season.

The Blaine, Minnesota native has been in the NHL since the 2012-13 season with Florida. He also played with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2018-2020 before being traded to the Wild in September of 2020.

Coming off a Stanley Cup Playoff appearance in 2020-2021, the Wild will continue to look to build around a young core to make a push for a championship in the future.

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