Matt Boldy He signed a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Minnesota Wild on Monday. It has an average annual value of $7 million and runs through the 2029-30 season.
“I love it here,” Boldy said Monday. “I think from the moment I got here, just the group we have, the guys in the locker room, the management, the coaching, it’s a good place to be. And ever since I’ve been here, I’ve loved it So it was a pretty easy decision for me.”
The 21-year-old forward, who is in the final season of a three-year, entry-level contract he signed with Minnesota on March 30, 2021, could have become a restricted free agent after the season. He is fourth on the Wild with 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 42 games.
“Matt’s a kid that we really believe in,” Wild general manager Bill Guerin said. “We think he’s going to be a big part of our core moving forward. Matt, it’s only been a short time in the league for him, but he’s had a big impact on our team both on the ice and fit in well as a part of the team in the locker room.So we have a lot of confidence in Matt.We realize that it’s early in his career, but we just feel that Matt is going to be one of the cornerstones of our organization.”
Boldy appreciates being considered part of the Wild nucleus.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “I think it’s what you want to be. You want to be the player that makes a difference. Play for as long as you can and make a big impact, that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to just go out there and just be happy with being in the league. I’m going to go out there and play well and score goals and help this team.”
Guerin said he has seen Boldy take steps in his second NHL season and expects him to get even better as a player.
“I think Matt is going to be a high point producer,” Guerin said. “He’s very good on the power play. I think as he grows physically and experience-wise, he’s just going to continue to get better and better. I think Matt has shown some leadership abilities too, or leadership qualities. I think Matt is going to be a very good player in this League for a long time.”
Selected by the Wild with the No. 12 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Boldy had 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 47 games as a rookie last season and has 68 points (27 goals, 41 assists) in 89 regular-season games. He has one goal in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“If you’ve spoken to him or been around him, the quality person that he is is obviously a factor in signing long-term deals like this,” wild coach Dean Evason said. “…You don’t give people long-term deals if you don’t think they are good teammates and good people. … He fits in to what we’re trying to do here in Minnesota.”
Guerin said the Wild had thought about a possible bridge deal, before ultimately signing Boldy long-term.
“I think the most important thing is when you have a player like Matt that’s young, a good player, a guy that we really believe in, and we have the ability to come together on a long-term deal and keep him here rather than just do a bridge deal, I think you have to take full advantage of that,” Guerin said. “I think us wanting Matt here as part of our foundation and Matt wanting to be here, I think you just have to take advantage of that.”
Guerin was asked if the Wild had begun talks with their other potential free agents, forwards Sam Steel, Brandon Duhaime and Mason Shawdefenseman Calen Addison and goalie Philip Gustavssonwho each can become an RFA after the season, and defenseman Matt Dumbwho can become an unrestricted free agent.
“We haven’t started talking to anyone because we really need to get this done first,” he said. “Before we started negotiations, we didn’t know if it was going to be a two-year bridge deal or something like that. We didn’t know what the long-term deal looked like, if it was going to be seven or Eight years. Now we know, we have some clarity, and we can maybe move ahead with some of the other guys. But we just felt that this was something that we needed to get done before we started moving ahead with anyone else.”
The Wild, who have won two straights, begin a four-game road trip at the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 pm ET; NBCSWA, BSN, BSWIX, ESPN+, SN NOW). Boldy said his approach to the game will be the same as it was before the new contract.
“It’s not really pressure,” he said. “It’s more excitement to be honest. It’s nice kind of having that pressure, if that’s what we want to call it. Just more excitement to get better.”
NHL.com staff writer Tom Gulitti and NHL independent correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report