He’s the reigning WHL player of the year, and he could be homeless.
Red Deer Rebels goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who captured the Four Broncos Trophy as the league’s top player in addition to the Del Wilson Trophy as the league’s top goaltender earlier this month, is sans contract. He and the Minnesota Wild, who own the 21-year-old’s rights, have yet to reach an agreement on an entry-level deal.
Kuemper, who led all WHL goaltenders in wins (45) and shutouts (13), was drafted in the sixth round, 161st overall as a draft re-entrant in 2009. If he doesn’t put his pen to the paper before June 1, the Saskatoon, SK. native who also led the league with a 1.86 goals against average and .933 save percentage will become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with the team of his choosing.
The interest in the six-foot-four, 195-pound goaltender would be immense. A team could add Kuemper to the fold without cost. Couple that with a sub-par goaltending crop at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and Kuemper could be the prized junior goaltender acquisition of the summer.
Will the Wild and Kuemper come to a contract?
The next two weeks will tell if the Rebels goaltender hears the call of the Wild.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!