Tyler Cuma Re-signs So The Gang Is All Back Together
Posted by Nathan Wells on Tuesday, July 30, 2013
2008 first round pick and lone RFA holdout Tyler Cuma is back with Minnesota.
Cuma, who had 12 points (1 G-11 A) in 42 games last season for Houston (AHL), signed a one year, two-way contract Tuesday with Minnesota. Terms are undisclosed, but the 23 year-old defenseman tweeted "Very grateful to come back and play in the State of Hockey! Thank you to the @mnwild for this opportunity. Can't wait to get things going!"
Still, Cuma being on a two-way contract is more of an organizational depth move one impacting the NHL team. Bringing him back likely means that the defenseman will start the year with the Wild's new AHL affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa. Minnesota has 6 defensemen with one-way contracts. A seventh, Jonas Brodin, is guaranteed a spot in the NHL after finishing his rookie season on the top pairing.
The lone remaining first round pick from 2003-2010 still with the Wild organization (and new dad) has been plagued by injuries since being drafted 23rd overall by former General Manager Doug Risebrough. Cuma has been healthy for a full season once in the 5 years since being drafted and played just a single NHL game. His first trip to the Xcel Energy Center, as part of the Houston Aeros, saw the defenseman tear his ACL against Peoria. Other injuries include the groin, broken leg and other knee.
Even Cuma's first NHL call-up ended with a missed flight. It parallels a draft era from 2004-2008 where nothing else went right for Minnesota either.
Still, he'll have at least one more opportunity to stay healthy and try to re-find that NHL potential. Even if that potential is more of a role player than first round pick.
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