Minnesota Wild Forward's Return Now Delayed

Minnesota Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek was supposed to return to the lineup for Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks. Yet, now he will not be able to, as he has entered COVID-19 protocol. 

Eriksson Ek had been dealing with an upper-body injury and hasn't played since December 20th's game against the Dallas Stars. Due to his importance to the team, he has been missed significantly, so it's hard to hear that his return is now delayed.

In 30 games this season with the Wild, he has 11 goals, nine assists, and a plus-8 rating. This kind of production has certainly been good to see, but especially when remembering that he just signed an eight-year, $42 million contract with the team. The 2015 first-round pick is now going to be a long-term part of this team's future, so it's huge to see him thriving again after a career year. 

Although Eriksson Ek will be out, the Wild still have three players returning for their game against the Ducks. Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway, and Brandon Duhaime should be in the lineup, and naturally, that will be a huge boost for Minnesota.

Photo Credit; © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports