Minnesota Wild suspend Ivan Lodnia – .

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Minnesota Wild suspend Ivan Lodnia – .


There have long been expectations for Ivan Lodnia to reach the pro ranks in North America and now, just when it seemed like he was finally here, it may already be over for the young striker. Lodnia, in the fifth year of his entry-level contract but just the first he had planned to play in the Minnesota Wild organization, has been suspended indefinitely. Lodnia chose not to run for the ECHL Iowa Heartlanders after failing to secure a berth with the AHL’s Iowa Wild. Athletic’s Michael Russo reports that the team has in turn informed Lodnia’s agent that he is on suspension without pay until he agrees to play in ECHL – or until both parties decide on a mutual termination of the contract.
Lodnia, 22, was once a well-regarded prospect for the Wild, but that status is now in doubt. A third-round pick in 2017, Lodnia had the rare developmental path of playing both for the United States National Team Development Program and in the Canadian Junior Major ranks with the Erie Otters and Niagara Ice. OHL Dogs. Lodnia signed his entry-level contract the same year he was drafted and continued to play at a near point-per-game pace in the OHL that season and even won some AHL action. during an amateur test with Iowa. Following a move to Niagara, he has managed to beat the points-per-game pace in his last two junior seasons. The young forward looked set to make his AHL debut last season, but due to the delay in the start of the season he was instead playing in the KHL with Dinamo Minsk and the Wild chose to leave him on loan with the club through the 2020-21 campaign. Lodnia has only managed seven points in 27 games for Minsk, but it was his first professional experience.

It is understandable why Lodnia might be confused and frustrated with her current situation. A young forward with solid junior numbers, a solid draft pedigree and professional experience the team enjoyed so much that they signed him for the draft almost immediately: why doesn’t he have a chance in the AHL? While Lodnia doesn’t seem like the caliber of prospect that should be in ECHL, at the end of the day it’s his job to play where the Wild ask him to play. After a season away from home with minimal ice time, Minnesota may want him to play the best line minutes in the ECHL rather than a depth role in the AHL. The team may also be concerned about entering the Iowa lineup with a full set of a dozen forwards signed under NHL deals who are also currently assigned to the AHL. Not only that, but Iowa’s current forward corps has a number of top prospects as well as seasoned veterans. Lodnia may just be the strange man right now.

Whatever the reasons, Minnesota has the right to assign its prospects wherever it sees fit and to suspend them if they do not show up. Per Russo, Lodnia is currently at home and still wondering whether or not he will show up to Iowa City and stay suspended until there is a change in the status quo. If no resolution can be reached, Lodnia’s contract could be terminated, making him a free agent. That’s an interesting possibility given that, on paper, he still looks like a good prospect and may not be the typical clean drop and elimination if other NHL teams are interested. However, Lodnia’s insistence on playing where he wants and not where the team need him could deter rival clubs. With the KHL experience already on his resume, perhaps a dismissal could lead to a return to Europe like so many others, although that would be a disappointing result on a long road to NHL relevance. for Lodnia.



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