Top Wild Prospect Celebrates New Contract with Hat Trick

Photo: Minnesota Wild (@mnwild - X)

The Minnesota Wild are all but mathematically eliminated from NHL playoff contention, after last night’s loss vs the St. Louis Blues, who sit between them and the final Wildcard spot in the western conference. But there was some good news that came out of Saturday, too.

Riley Heidt celebrates new Minnesota Wild contract with WHL hat trick

One of the Wild’s top prospects, Riley Heidt (who turns 19-years-old on Monday), signed his entry-level contract to join the Wild next season. Then, while his pro club was busy being pushed further down the standing sheet in St. Paul, Heidt was celebrating his new deal by scoring a hat trick in his final regular season WHL game, with the Prince George Cougars (British Columbia, CA).

Riley ranks as the No. 73 overall prospect in hockey, according to The Athletic, which released an updated top-75 earlier this month. He ranks No. 4 in the Wild system behind only their “big three” of top prospects, (G) Jesper Wallstedt, (F) Danila Yurov and (LW) Liam Ohgren.

How good is Riley Heidt?

Heidt’s 2023-24 season, with Prince George, has been nothing short of jaw-dropping. Make sure you’re sitting down when you read these numbers. In 66 WHL games north of the border, Heidt scored 37 goals and dished out 80 assists, for a grand total of 117 total points.

He played on the same line with Calgary prospect Zac Funk (not in top-75 NHL prospects), and helped him reach 67 goals (123 points) on the year. Next up, Heidt, Funk and their 49-15-4 Prince George Cougars will look to continue their regular season dominance in the WHL playoffs.

Nasty physically, despite his 5-foot-11 frame, Heidt has the handling, shooting, and vision to inflict major damage on opponents. He takes the extra stride to play the body, never passes up an opportunity to sneak in a shot behind the play, and is an enthusiastic combatant in scrums.

Related: Bad Extensions, Not Marat Khusnutdinov, Could Push Marco Rossi onto Wild Trade Block

The Minnesota Wild drafted Riley Heidt with the No. 64 overall pick in last year’s NHL Draft, after he slipped all the way from a sure-fire 1st rounder into the 3rd round. How high is Heidt’s ceiling? Two years ago, he was the No. 2 overall pick in the WHL Bantam draft, selected between Calder Trophy front-runner Connor Bedard and the No. 37 overall prospect (The Athletic) in the NHL, Brayden Yager.

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