Otherwise Great piece. Will you be updating that table or will you post a whole new one?
I'll change the table as it goes (e.g we know for sure whos playing in the WJC, who's playing in the Traverse prospect tourny, and who actually makes playoffs) but this is how it will be. I'll just changes things to make them appropriate to the situation...
Lol. Lets just say I posted their NATURAL positions.
I know you guys are getting tired of the Granlund pictures but I have to put one more up, because Granlund is the new Wild's top prospect!
Some might be wondering why I am making a prospect ranking at the end of June. The reason is because development camp takes place from July 12th - 19th, and if it things are similar to last years camp, we will get to watch some prospects play during open scrimmage. I thought it'll be interesting to see who shows up during that week and who seems lacking. The month of August seems quite quiet so the rankings will probably not change but September 3rd is when the first preseason WHL games that include Wild prospects takes place, so alot of changes will be made there.
Also, if you have not read, I have posted up a weekly prospect tracker at http://www.hfboards.ca/showthread.php?t=793374. Every week, I'll update the table so you will not be out-of-touch with our prospects. In that thread, I mentioned some rules for rookies, which will take effect throughout all my sites, so the status of 'rookie' will remain uniform.
Requirements for rookies:
*Under the age of 27
**Has played less than 15 NHL Games (some exceptions apply e.g Gillies)
***Has played less than 4 years of pro hockey
Anyways, without futher ado, the Wild's Top Prospect Rankings!
Top 20 At A Glance:
1. Mikael Granlund
2. Marco Scandella
3. Matt Hackett
4. Casey Wellman
5. Tyler Cuma
6. Brett Bulmer
7. Johan Larsson
8. Erik Haula
9. Colton Gillies
10. Jason Zucker
11. Cody Almond
12. Nate Prosser
13. Maxim Noreau
14. Jarod Palmer
15. Anton Khudobin
16. Justin Falk
17. Darcy Kuemper
18. Kristopher Foucault
19. Kyle Medvec
20. Jere Sallinen
Anthony Aiello (?)
Julian Walker (?)
Graduated - Clayton Stoner
Expired - Eero Elo, Harri Ilvonen, Niko Hovinen, Brandon Rogers
1. Mikael Granlund C/W, 18, 5'10" 179lbs (HIFK SM-liiga)
Minnesota's 1st round choice, 9th overall, in 2010
The Wild have not drafted a dynamic forward arguably since Benoit Pouliot in 2005, and he ended doing nothing for the Wild, except being traded away for promising Guillaume Latendresse. Considered the smartest player in the 2010 draft, Granlund possesses creative hands, is able to deke past defenders and is able to dish out highlight real assists. The knock against him is his size and his lack of explosiveness, but some fans counter with his ability to play with intensity, his bravery to play in the dirty areas and his smarts to compensate for those flaws. He is seen as one of the more NHL-ready prospects in 2010, expected to play in the NHL within 2011-2013. Here is my short piece on Granlund that explains more about him: http://circulartheory.blogspot.com/2...-granlund.html
2. Marco Scandella D, 20, 6'3" 217lbs (Val-d'Or Foreurs QMJHL)
Minnesota's 2nd round choice, 55th overall, in 2008
Dropped to #2 not because of him, its just because of the addition of a bluechip prospect that the Wild has lacked in a few years (Granlund). Scandella still remains a very good prospect, projected to be a 2nd pairing defensive d-man with good mobility. Had one hell of a season, being named onto the WJC Canada team, career high in PPG and captained his junior team. His season ended on a bad note with a season-ending suspension but Scandella will able to bounce back from the unfortunate incident with the Aeros.
3. Matthew Hackett G, 20, 6'2" 170lbs (Plymouth Whalers OHL)
Minnesota's 3rd round choice, 77th overall, in 2009
Hackett finished the OHL 2nd in save percentage with a 0.925% and posted 0.940% 2.38 GAA in 5 playoff games. His playoff stint ended with him being suspended but Hackett is still skilled nonetheless. Like Scandella, Hackett will be able to try to start fresh with the Aeros. It'll interesting to see how GM Fletcher deals with Hackett, forcing him to battle for the starting goalie position with Anton Khudobin or send him off somewhere else to get top minutes.
One of the three college free agents GM Fletcher picked him, he showed the most promise out of all of them. While only posting 4 points in 12 games, he showed his quick speed and his willingness to contribute on the forecheck. It was evident he was pushed off the puck easily by the bigger NHL players, hopefully he'll put on some weight this offseason to make him more dangerous. Interesting with Wellman, he could either get top line minutes with Houston or try to fill in the remaining holes on the Wild roster (#2 center, bottom 6 winger).
Last season did not start off well for Cuma. Expected to dominate for his Ottawa 67's after suffering a season ending injury in the previous year, his rust showed and he struggled as the teams top pairing d-man. However, the 2nd half was much better as he started to play with more confidence and poise. While not putting up points some might have hoped for, his defensive play improved over the season. As much as fans hope for a two-way d-man in Cuma, he'll probably end up as a more mobile defensive defenseman, comparable to the Wild's Nick Schultz
Definately one of the more unexpected picks by the Wild, Bulmer is classified as your typical 'fast riser'. Bulmer was 5'7" during his Bantam year, grew to his current size, and his father is around 6'5", which makes you wonder how much growing Bulmer has left to go. He is noted to possess all the skills that should translate well into the NHL, such as skating, aggressiveness, and puck protection ability. One of his main weakness is his strength. He is only at 165lbs so he has alot of growing to go to fill up that 6'1" (maybe more) frame of his, and seeing how his style depends alot on strength, it could really hurt him if he doesn't excel in it...
7. Johan Larsson F, 17, 6' 0" 198lbs (Brynas J20 SuperElit)
Minnesota's 2nd round choice, 56th overall, in 2010
Also considered a fast riser, Larsson rose his stock up through his play in the World U-18 Tournament, where he was the captain of Sweden and posted up an impressive 6 goals and 8 assists in 15 games. Always seen as a solid two-way player who is responsible in his own end, his recent play has forced scouts to rethink their reports and see if he has any hidden offensive talents that can make him a very dangerous player. Here's a short piece I had on Larsson: http://circulartheory.blogspot.com/2...n-larsson.html
8. Erik Haula LW, 19, 5'11" 170lbs (Omaha Lancers USHL)
Minnesota's 7th round choice, 182nd overall, in 2009
If the Wild were ever going to get a late round steal, Haula would be its top candidate. Picked with their last pick in the 2009 draft, Haula immediately started to rip up the USHL where he was top 10 in goals, assists, points, and PPA. He'll be heading to U of Minnesota under Head Coach Lucia, however some have been worried about the school's recent lack of successful developed players. Teams such as Vancouver and New York Islanders have signed their prospects hoping they would develop better in the AHL.
Gillies is the biggest dropper in our rankings, falling from #5 to #9. While he did not do terrible in the AHL, he did not do great and his upside as a 2nd line powerforward has been reduced to a checking 3rd liner. There is nothing wrong with a 3rd line player that can skate fast and hit, but his limited upside has forced fellow Wild prospects to overtake him in the rankings. Gillies will have to refine his forechecking and defensive skills in the Aeros a little longer as he is still somewhat unprepared for the NHL game
10. Jason Zucker F, 18, 5'10" 175lbs (NTDP USHL)
Minnesota's 2nd round choice, 59th overall, in 2010
Zucker has a very impressive resume for an 18-year old. Zucker possesses three gold medals, one with the 08-09 U-18 WJC USA Team, 09-10 U-18 WJC USA Team and with 09-10 U-20 WJC USA Team that won Gold over Team Canada that feature players like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. As impressive as being part of the U-20 team as an 17 year old, it was more impressive that he was relied on for forechecking against a Canada team that was stacked with talent. Zucker is a speedy checker with some scoring upside and will work very well with the Wild's new style of play. Here is a piece I did on Zucker when he was selected: http://circulartheory.blogspot.com/2...on-zucker.html
My fingers have stretched and warmed up because in five days, the Wild will be inviting a group of Wild prospects to attend their annual prospect development camp, where have the youngsters undergo several days of hockey practice, informational sessions and team building exercises. If the Wild media sticks to their practices from last season, they'll be broadcasting one of the scrimmages. I have my fingers crossed. Why? Because after reading all season long about these Wild prospects and their recent 2010 picks, they'll all be showing their skills in one location at one time. Gasp... But besides orientating these prospects to the Wild organization and feeding me while I suffer my hockey withdrawal, the camp also gives the Wild scouts a chance to look at a few tryout players that could possibly signed to a Wild contract. Interesting fact but since 2006, the Wild, or their AHL affiliate Houston Aeros, have signed at least one player from each camp.
2006 John Scott - Signs with the Houston Aeros on September 26, 2006, then is signed by the Minnesota Wild on December 31, 2006.
2007 Maxim Noreau - Signs with the Houston Aeros and is then signed by the Wild on May 22, 2008 to a multi-year deal.
Moises Gutierrez - Played for the Texas Wildcatters (Houston Aeros ECHL affiliate), then played 6 games for the Aeros.
2008 Brian Kaufman - Signed by the Aeros at the end of the 2008 season by the Aeros.
2009 Jarod Palmer - Signed by the Minnesota Wild to a one year deal.
Some interesting names up there. John Scott, recently signed by the Blackhawks, Maxim Noreau, AHL Second All Star and leading scoring d-man for the Aeros, and Jarod Palmer, one of the more sought out college free agents in 2010. So when the roster for the 2010 Wild Prospect Developmental Camp comes out, chances are, they'll be one or two guys there that will sign with the Wild or Aeros in the next year. Something you should keep an eye out for!
*Read this article on Noreau - 'Max' effort paying off for Noreau
Gives you an insight on what happens after the things happen on the draft table. These developmental camps will showcase some talent we do not own yet, so pay attention!
**One name I did read that was invited to the Wild Developmental Camp is Colton Jobke from the Kelowna rockets. I would think he is still eligible to be drafted but the Wild signed Bjorn Krupp last year so I'm confused about the rules. Source: Kelowna Daily
***Apparently to HFboard posters, the Wild will be inviting Alex Emond and Darian Dziurzynski. Source: HFBoards