Photo: The Minnesota Wild’s 2014 first-round pick and top prospect, Alex Tuch, sets his sights on a national title for Boston College (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Wild‘s struggles this season cost head coach Mike Yeo his job, but a bigger problem than his decision-making threatens the Wild’s future success. The prospect pool lacks star quality. Though there has been plenty of trade babble, young stars and old come at premium prices. Rather than having a budding home-grown star waiting in the wings, the Wild’s recent run of below-average drafting has meant little flexibility for Chuck Fletcher, as well as an AHL team mired at the bottom of the standings.
Photo: It might be overstating things to call Christoph Bertschy’s North American debut ‘long-awaited’ but the 2012 sixth-rounder has long been one of the most promising prospects in the Wild system (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
By now it has become clear that fielding a competitive AHL team is just not part of Chuck Fletcher and the Wild’s plans. As of this writing, the Iowa Wild is again in last place in the AHL, with the fewest points and the most games played.
Photo: Harvard University product and current Quad City Mallard Steve Michalek is off to a good start as a pro, being named the ECHL rookie of the month for October (courtesy of Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
Chuck Fletcher’s name comes up in the discussion for best general manager in the NHL. While his record is not without blemish, and he cannot really claim the title without a championship, the consensus is that he has done a good job of building a contending squad from one that seemed to be running in place. However, some of that success came at the cost of organizational depth. The AHL results have been poor, and misguided drafting takes some blame for the lack of skill in the developmental league.
Photo: Minnesota Wild defensive prospect Mike Reilly posted six goals and 42 points in 39 games in his final season at the University of Minnesota (courtesy of Ken Andersen/NHLPA via Getty Images)
While deciding to stay close to home, Mike Reilly took a detour to the other side of the globe.
Reilly and his brothers, Connor and Ryan, traveled to China for three weeks as part of a study abroad program through the University of Minnesota. Read more»
Photo: Top Minnesota Wild prospect Alex Tuch should earn a larger role at the 2016 World Juniors for Team USA (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
July 4th, 2012 changed the Minnesota Wild’s course for the foreseeable future. Twin 13-year contracts for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter switched the Wild into win-now mode: an expensive and risky move that is easier announced than accomplished. Three seasons later, the team has qualified for the post-season in each season and won two playoff series total. Read more»