It doesn’t get much better in the NHL prospect world when two draft selections taken just nine picks apart other go one-on-one. That is exactly the situation in Sault Ste. Marie this weekend, where Pavel Zacha and the Sarnia Sting travel to Sault Ste. Marie to take on Zach Senyshyn and the Greyhounds. Read more»
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»
This has not been a great year of the prospect for the Minnesota Wild. The team arrived at a point in its process where it became ready to compete for the Stanley Cup. This has been somewhat to the detriment of its prospect pool, although any fan will take the tradeoff. Nonetheless, Hockey’s Future makes an annual tradition of handing out some imaginary hardware to players who stood out during the course of their seasons.
For any organization dedicated to the near-term goal of a Stanley Cup, having the bulk of the team’s prospects in colleges or European leagues is sound policy. The young men get their chances to grow as people, the team’s contract status is unaffected, and there is less rush to decide on a player’s future. The pressures of pro hockey in Europe are real, especially for younger players, but so is the NCAA Tournament atmosphere. Both make for excellent developmental opportunities.
A Plymouth, MN native, Mario Lucia began the 2010-11 season with a brief stint with the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) before returning to Wayzata High School. He finished his junior season leading the Trojans in goal scoring with 30, second on the team with 54 points, and was a plus-34 in 27 games. His outstanding year earned Lucia an honorable mention to the AP Minnesota All-State Team.