Shortly after bolstering the Minnesota Wild’s organizational depth at center by signing Casey Wellman, General Manager Chuck Fletcher turned his attention to goaltending. On Wednesday, Minnesota signed Plymouth Whaler goaltender Matthew Hackett to a three-year entry level deal.
Hackett, who was selected in the third round (77th overall) of last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, will remain with the Whalers through the team’s playoff run, which begins Friday night. It’s possible that he could join the Houston Aeros at the completion of his Canadian junior season.
His signing boosts the team’s goaltender depth in Houston next season.
"Matt is a big goalie who has played a lot of minutes the last two seasons in Plymouth," Fletcher said of the 6-foot-3, 170-pounder. "His numbers have improved in each of his junior seasons, and he was recognized this season by being invited to Canada’s World Junior camp. We look forward to continuing to see Matt develop in our system."
Hackett enjoyed a breakout season this past year by posting a 38-18-1-2 record with a 2.62 goals against average, and a .925 save percentage, which ranked second in the Ontario Hockey League.
The nephew of former NHL goaltender Jeff Hackett represented Team OHL in the 2009 Subway Super Series and earned a win in a 30-save effort.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)