Bogosian content to stay put on Wild's blue line

Wild players gathered in a semicircle before Wednesday's practice at Tria Rink to listen to coach John Hynes. Suddenly, players began to vigorously tap their sticks on the ice as defenseman Zach Bogosian stood and smiled.

"I'm happy to be here," said Bogosian, whose two-year, $2.5 million contract extension became official Wednesday, two days before the NHL's trading deadline. "Obviously, this time of year is a little weird for everyone sometimes, never really knowing the future, but I'm glad we got something done."

Bogosian, 33, has enjoyed a reignited career of sorts since being acquired from Tampa Bay in early November for a seventh-round draft pick in 2025. He had appeared in four games with the Lightning this season, registering no goals or assists. In 43 games with the Wild, the 6-2, 223-pounder has one goal and eight assists and brings a physical element the team needs on the blue line.

"I knew right away I would get an opportunity to play," Bogosian said. "That's all you really ask for as a player. There's a mutual respect there between myself and Billy [Guerin, Wild general manager] and the organization. The coaching staff has treated me great. It's been an easy fit. It's been smooth."

Hynes likes what he's seen in the versatility Bogosian brings.

"Zach's been great,'' Hynes said. "… He's shown he can take some added responsibilities when needed. He's been a really good fit."

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A Stanley Cup winner with Tampa in 2020, Bogosian brings a veteran's presence to the blue line. In addition, his puck-moving skills have impressed teammates.

"In breakouts especially, he's always so poised with the puck,'' rookie defenseman Brock Faber said. "You don't see that often for a guy as big as he is.''

Bogosian, a Massena, N.Y. native, moved to Minnesota for training purposes and has made his offseason home in Minnetonka for the past seven years, so re-signing with the Wild made sense.

"They were excited," he said of his family. "I told the kids yesterday, and they were jumping up and down, screaming and yelling. …. Up and down the board, it's been good for family, good for hockey."

Foligno is nearing return

Forward Marcus Foligno, who hasn't played since suffering a groin injury Feb. 9 against Pittsburgh, took part in Wednesday's practice and is close to returning but couldn't say when.

"I'm just trying to manage the pain right now," said Foligno, who has missed the past 11 games. "… I'll have one more skate tomorrow in Arizona, and we'll see from there."

NHL standings

• Forward Marcus Johansson, who missed Sunday's game because of a lower-body injury, left practice early and won't play at Arizona. "He's gonna need a few more days," Hynes said.

• Forward Pat Maroon skated after practice for the first time since undergoing back surgery Feb. 6.

Embracing the state tournament

The Wild have three Minnesotans on their roster: Faber, fellow defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward Vinni Lettieri. Yet none of the three has played in the boys hockey state tournament. Goligoski and Lettieri fell short with Grand Rapids and Minnetonka, respectively, on section finals, while Faber played for the U.S. National Team Development Program during high school.

"I never made it, but I attended every single state tourney since I was a kid," Lettieri said. "My favorite thing ever was going to the [Let's Play Hockey] Expo, going to the Warrior booth and watching kids get their free haircuts for a free Warrior stick. I begged my parents each and every year to do it."

Faber, a Maple Grove native, was asked for which state tournament team he is rooting. Sensing his answer might puzzle some fans, he explained.

"Actually, the thing is, I think I'm rooting for Edina," Faber said. One of the Hornets' standouts is Jackson Nevers, who has committed to the Gophers and is the younger brother of current Gopher Mason Nevers. "They're family friends, and I'd be happy to see [Jackson] get it, as much as that pains me."