MN Wild Report: Jake Middleton Contract Extension is Pretty Much Done

Jake Middleton, Minnesota Wild
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL offseason has officially begun, now that the Florida Panthers were able to stave off the Edmonton Oilers in game 7 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals. For the Minnesota Wild, the offseason started a long time ago.

But this weekend, the offseason heats up with the NHL Draft taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Then on Monday, free agency officially opens. The Wild have the 13th pick in the 1st round and six picks, in total, on the weekend.

Don’t get your hopes up for fireworks out of St. Paul, come Monday in free agency, or throughout the offseason, for that matter. President of Hockey Operations Bill Guerin is digging under the seats at Xcel Energy Center trying to find more money to spend under the salary cap.

Minnesota Wild, Jake Middleton have contract extension tee’d up

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any news on Monday morning. According to Michael Russo (The Athletic), the Wild have pretty much agreed to a long-term contract extension with defenseman Jake Middleton. It’s expected to be worth ~4 years, between $4 to $4.5 million per year.

Russo also notes that Guerin has yet to sit down with Brock Faber’s representation to talk about a possible record-breaking contract extension that could happen at some point this offseason.

Monday, Faber and Jake Middleton will be eligible to sign contract extensions (Middleton is close, I believe, while sources on both sides say they haven’t begun negotiations yet on Faber)

I think [Middleton’s] contract extension is already agreed upon and will be announced Monday or soon after in the four-year range for term and $4 to $4.5 million range for salary.

Michael Russo on Jake Middleton’s contract extension with Minnesota Wild – The Athletic

In 2024, Jake Middleton played more games than any of his five NHL seasons prior, posting 25 total points (7 goals, 18 assists), both career highs, as well. Of course, the MN Wild were short on both offensive and defensive talent last season, which is why Brock Faber was forced onto the first defensive line.

Related: Wild Reportedly in the Market for an Aging Big Name ‘Top-6’ Winger

That lack of back-end depth also meant more minutes and more reliance on Middleton, who finished with over 1,500 minutes of time on ice in 2024, nearly 300 minutes more than any other year of his career. He finished with a -15 +/-.

4 yrsSJS593912-282614.9104100317:0097110
3 yrsMIN18011344571621865.9406346519:15351292
Career6 yrs23914435752442475.7510446818:42448402
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2024.

Middleton still has one season left ($2.45M) on the three year contract that he signed in Minnesota back in 2022, but Guerin clearly doesn’t want to wait another year to lock him in long-term. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Once you are in Billy G’s clubhouse, he takes care of you. We all know that.

Related: Minnesota Wild Rebranding to North Stars Colors? Not So Fast…

In reality, this is probably one of the smarter veteran extensions Guerin has inked in recent years, but that isn’t saying much. Russo doesn’t mention whether or not Jake’s new deal will include a no trade clause or strong no-trade list… but if recent history is any indicator, you know it’ll have something attached to protect the veteran defenseman.

The MN Wild have one year left in the cap hell created by the Parise/Suter contract buyout penalties that have dragged down the organization for the better part of five years (even before they were shipped out of town)

President of Hockey Operations Bill Guerin is mostly stuck with what they have on roster, unless Guerin decides to shake things up with a Marco Rossi or Filip Gustavsson trade.

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