May 6, 2024

The 2023-24 Iowa Wild season featured plenty of highlights both on and off the ice. Despite the team coming up short of a playoff spot, there were plenty of areas in which to measure success. Iowa players past and present continued their development while the team continued its commitment to growing hockey throughout Iowa.  

Continue reading for a chance to reminisce on individual and team accomplishments from the past season! 


18 players who previously skated in Iowa suited up for the Minnesota Wild during the 2023-24 season, 12 of whom played with Iowa during 2023-24. Three Iowa alumni (Daemon Hunt, Liam Öhgren, and Jesper Wallstedt) made their NHL debuts with Minnesota.   

Following two seasons in Iowa, Marco Rossi enjoyed a breakout rookie season with Minnesota. Rossi finished second among NHL rookies with 21 goals and fifth in scoring with 40 points. Rossi was also one of four rookie skaters to skate in all 82 games. 


Jesper Wallstedt and Daemon Hunt both spent their second seasons surpassing the highs of their rookie years.  

Wallstedt served as Iowa's backbone in net, appearing in 45 of Iowa’s 72 games and winning 22 games. He opened the season with an 11-5-0 record and beat his rookie save percentage with a 0.910 mark during 2023-24. Wallstedt also started 21-of-23 games between Feb. 2 and Apr. 5 between NHL recalls. 

Wallstedt made his NHL debut with Minnesota on Jan. 10 at Dallas and earned his first win and shutout on Apr. 7 at Chicago.  


Hunt followed up a rookie season in which he posted 11 points (2-9=11) in 59 games with a 29 point (3-26=29) showing through 51 games. His 26 assists ranked third on the team and first among Iowa defensemen.  

Hunt also saw his first NHL action and made his debut with Minnesota on Oct. 27 at Washington. He appeared in 12 NHL games and picked up his first point with an assist on Dec. 18 at Pittsburgh. 


The Minnesota Wild generated buzz across Iowa when they acquired Luke Toporowski from the Boston Bruins on Mar. 8. The Bettendorf, Iowa native became the first Iowa-born player to suit up for the Iowa Wild in team history and recorded an assist on Mar. 9 against Manitoba.  


He added a goal and an assist in front of friends and family the next night and finished with 11 points (5-6=11) in 17 games with Iowa. Toporowski’s contract runs through the 2024-25 season.  


The 2023-24 season featured a laundry list of individual accomplishments across the roster.  

Mason Shaw spent the first half of the season recovering from a fourth knee surgery before returning to Iowa’s lineup on Jan. 20 at Rockford. Shaw recorded seven points (4-3=7) in nine games before signing a contract with the Minnesota Wild and returning to the NHL. 


Caedan Bankier, Vladislav Firstov, Gavin Hain, Carson Lambos, Pavel Novak, Jack Peart, and David Spacek each scored their first AHL goals.  

Peyton Jones earned his first AHL win with a career-high 36 saves in a 4-3 victory at Manitoba on Apr. 24. The win came over three years after his AHL debut, which came on Feb. 13, 2021 at San Diego with Colorado.  

Zane McIntyre capped the season with a win in his 300th AHL game on Apr. 20 at Chicago. 


Despite missing the playoffs, the Iowa Wild put together their most successful stretch of the season following the NHL trade deadline.  

Iowa finished 8-7-3 over the season’s final 18 games and improved its play across several categories.  


First 54 games 

Last 18 games 




Goals Against/Game 









Three of Iowa’s final eight wins came against the Chicago Wolves and helped the Wild finish 7-0-1 against their Central Division rival. The seven wins marked a new high for Iowa, which had previously never won more than four games against Chicago during a single season. 


The Iowa Wild set new marks for community contributions in 2023-24 and continued to grow the sport of hockey throughout the state of Iowa. 

Throughout the season, the team raised money for Tame the Hunger. With help from Affinity Credit Union, players, and volunteers, the team set a new high with 50,112 meals packed for the Des Moines Public Schools SUCCESS program. 

The team also introduced several new initiatives during the year, including Women in Sports Night and Recovery Night. Women in Sports Night, presented by Capital Orthopaedics, featured a pre-game panel with five panelists and the inclusion of KCCI sports reporter, Shannon Ehrhardt, on the team’s AHLTV broadcast. 


Drawing inspiration from a similar event held by the Minnesota Wild, Recovery Night focused on setting up a meeting for those in recovery and hosting local recovery organizations at a game.  

The Iowa Wild drew international attention in November following the unveiling of the team’s Iowa Wookiee rebrand. The Star Wars Night specialty jerseys and merchandise drew so much interest that the team introduced a first-ever eCommerce pre-order for Iowa Wookiee t-shirts. 


The team’s jersey auctions for the Iowa Wookiees jerseys and other specialty sweaters raised over $125,000 for local charities.  


The Minnesota Wild have one of the most exciting prospect pools in hockey, which means fans in Des Moines will once again have the chance to see future NHL stars play at Wells Fargo Arena in 2024-25. 

The Iowa Wild will also introduce several new theme nights and specialty jerseys during the upcoming season. Stay tuned throughout the summer to learn more – a new hockey season is just around the corner! 

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