02/09/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/09/2018 19:12
'It's always nice to have a couple Swedes,' Loov said. 'It's nice to speak your own language sometimes. I was in Binghamton and there were no Swedes there.'
Ultimately, the number of native countrymen on the roster won't matter much, but it can't hurt in his transition to a new team and a new conference. Loov was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Draft and traded to New Jersey last February.
He certainly looks the part of an NHL defenseman, standing 6-foot-3 and nearly 220 pounds. Officially recalled from Iowa on Friday morning, Loov skated with Minnesota at practice although he's unlikely to play Saturday when the Wild continues its five-game homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The practice session was short, but Loov left a good first impression with coach Bruce Boudreau.
'He's got an NHL body, he looks strong, you know he's bigger and that's not a bad thing,' Boudreau said.
Wild assistant coach Bob Woods checked in with his son, Brendan, who's a forward for the Utica Comets, a rival of the Binghamton Devils in the North Division of the American Hockey League.
'I think he's one of those disturbers,' Boudreau said. '[Brendan Woods] says he really wanted to beat him up, so I mean, he must be like a guy that gets under people's skin.'
Loov said he's not opposed to that -- or anything else really, describing himself as a guy who can do a little bit of everything.
'That would be my biggest asset,' Loov said of his versatility. 'I'm not going to run around looking for it. If I get one, I'll do it. It's not like I'm looking for it.'
For the Wild, Loov's addition adds to its defensive depth, which assistant general manager Brent Flahr said is akin to the quarterback position in football; you can never have enough of them.
'We saw what happened the other night [in St. Louis]. We lose Brodin then we thought we might have lost [Nate] Prosser,' Flahr said. 'There's a trickle-down effect. It gives us needed depth, for both [Iowa and Minnesota] down the stretch. Both of our teams are in a dogfight here to make the playoffs.'
Flahr said he wanted to give both players dealt to New Jersey -- forwards Christoph Bertschy and Mario Lucia -- an opportunity at a fresh start. The Wild also had organizational forward depth in front of them.
With Loov, he said he was excited about a fresh start as well.
'I thought it was a positive thing. I was really happy,' Loov said. 'I've been playing AHL like all season and felt like I've been a little bit stuck here. Hopefully I'll get the chance here. We will see.'