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Wild to open preseason schedule against Stanley Cup champs

The Wild will kicked off their preseason as hosts to the Avalanche on Sept. 25.
Credit: AP
FILE - This Nov. 17, 2016, file photo shows a view of Xcel Energy Center before an NHL hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and the Boston Bruins in St. Paul, Minn. Xcel Energy Center is one of the possible locations the NHL has zeroed in on to host playoff games if it can return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league will ultimately decide on two or three locations for games, with government regulations, testing and COVID-19 frequency among the factors for the decision that should be coming within the next three to four weeks. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia, File)

ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild announced their preseason schedule Tuesday afternoon, beginning with two games against the Stanley Cup winning Colorado Avalanche in late September.

The Wild will kicked off their preseason as hosts to the Avalanche on Sept. 25 before a three-game road trip against the Avalanche, Chicago and Dallas. Minnesota rounds out its preseason schedule with home games against the Blackhawks and Stars. A seventh preseason game — a road game against the Blackhawks — will also be played, but officials have yet to release the details of that matchup.

The Wild's season ended much sooner than they had hoped — or anticipated — but they've been active in their extended offseason by reaching a contract extension with 23-year-old forward Connor Dewar and trading Kevin Fiala to the Los Angeles Kings for a first-round pick in Thursday's NHL Draft and defensive prospect Brock Faber, who was recently named a captain for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Moving Fiala, while coming off a season where he put up career highs in goals (33), assists (52) and points (85), the cost to keep him in Minnesota was too high. Following the trade, the Kings announced they signed Fiala to a seven-year contract averaging nearly $7.9 million per year

The Wild will now have two first-round picks in Thursday's draft, as they now possess the Kings' No. 19 pick and their own pick at No. 24. In total, Minnesota has eight picks in the draft including four selections in the first two rounds.

"We're extremely excited to have another first-round pick this year — we'll be picking in the first round two times for the second year in a row — and to get the rights to a really good, young defenseman that we think highly of," said Wild GM Bill Guerin in a press conference after the trade with the Kings was announced.

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