James Neal has made good on his professional tryout. The veteran winger has signed in St. Louis for one year at $750,000. Neal helped his cause by scoring a hat trick in one of his games and scoring a team-leading four goals in five games. Out of the expensive contract he signed with Calgary and eventually moved to Edmonton, Neal could deliver decent value for the Blues. He's probably not a player you should target in fantasy drafts, but you might see him at the top of your waiver wire if he goes on another goal-scoring streak. Most recently, he was on a line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas, so there’s a good chance he’s used in a scoring role where he can potentially thrive.
Also with the Blues and perhaps related to the Neal signing, recently acquired Logan Brown was put on waivers. We discussed Brown in a recent Fantasy Take article that also had Zach Sanford heading to Ottawa. The thought at the time was that Brown would likely make the team because he'd have to clear waivers if sent down. So either Brown did not have a strong camp, or the Blues' thinking was that clearing Sanford's $2 million cap hit was the main priority. I wouldn't be surprised if Brown is claimed by another team.
Unfortunate news for those looking to draft Matt Boldy as a potential rookie sleeper: the Wild forward is expected to miss four to six weeks because of a fractured left ankle from Thursday's preseason game. Boldy had been used with a variety of Wild scorers during the preseason, including Kevin Fiala, Marco Rossi, and Jordan Greenway. He could be used in a top-9 role once he returns, but the Wild may give him extended time in the AHL once he is ready to skate.
In other Wild news, they have sent Rossi, Adam Beckman, and Calen Addison to Iowa of the AHL. Rossi in particular may seem like a surprise demotion, as he seemed like an early Calder Trophy favorite. However, this might be the best move long-term, given that Rossi played very little last season because of a COVID-related heart condition. Iowa looks like it will be a strong AHL squad as long as these players are there. I'd have to assume that these prospects all get a chance with the Wild at some point this season – especially Rossi.
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