Wild swaps 2 minor league forwards for D

An injury to Jonas Brodin may have convinced the Wild to go looking for more defense. On Thursday they swapped a pair of minor league forwards for New Jersey defenseman Viktor Loov.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild moved to thin out their overstock of forwards Thursday, announcing that the club has sent Iowa Wild skaters Christoph Bertschy and Mario Lucia to New Jersey in exchange for defenseman Viktor Loov.

The 25-year-old Loov, a 6-foot-3, 216-pound native of Sodertalje, Sweden, has notched 17 points (5-12=17) and 45 penalty minutes in 36 games with Binghamton of the AHL this season. He totaled two assists and a plus-4 rating in four career NHL games with Toronto in 2015-16. Loov was originally selected by Toronto in the seventh round (209th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Loading ...

Bertschy, 23, has registered 17 points and 40 PIM in 45 games with the Iowa Wild (AHL) this season. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound native of Fribourg, Switzerland, has totaled one assist and eight PIM in nine career NHL games with Minnesota, including four PIM in one contest this season. He was originally selected by Minnesota in the sixth round (158th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Lucia, the son of Minnesota Gophers coach Don Lucia, has posted 15 points (6-9=15) and 12 PIM in 40 games with Iowa this season. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound native of Fairbanks, Alaska, has totaled 41 points (17-24=41) and 32 PIM in 93 career games with Iowa (2015-18). Lucia was originally selected by Minnesota in the second round (60th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft but never played a game with the big club.

Loov's acquisition may have been motivated by Brodin's hand injury, suffered in Tuesday night's thumping of St. Louis. The team announced the stay-at-home defender had surgery Wednesday and is expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks. The move may also cause some to question how much confidence the Wild has Mike Riley and Gustaf Olofsson, two young defenders currently on the roster who have basically split time this season.