The Wildís first move of the offseason locks up a tough, steady defenseman for two more seasons. Minnesota has re-signed Clayton Stoner to a two-year contract extension.
Coming off of his second season with the Wild in 2011-12, Stoner totaled 5 points (1-4=5) and 54 penalty minutes in 51 games. His plus-3 plus/minus rating led all Wild defensemen and was good for third on the team.
Beyond the stat page, Stonerís toughness on the ice and willingness to stick up for teammates are intangibles that donít always show up on the score sheet.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound native of Port McNeill, B.C., also was nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Minnesota Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writersí Association. Masterton nominees exemplify perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport of hockey, all traits embodied by the 27-year-old blueliner.
Stoner spent nearly five years in the minors before earning a spot with the Wild during the 2010-11 season. He recorded nine points (2-7=9) in 57 contests with the Wild in his rookie season and ranked first on the team with a plus-5 rating and third with 96 PIM. Stoner tied for third among NHL rookie defensemen in penalty minutes and sixth in plus/minus amongst rookies that played more than 50 games. He made his NHL debut at Montreal on Dec. 17, 2009.
Selected by Minnesota in the third round (79th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Stoner would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but the Wild has signed the sturdy defenseman through the 2013-14 season.