Things have trended down for the Minnesota Wild‘s AHL affiliate since losing in the 2011 Calder Cup final to Binghamton. The team was moved from Houston to Iowa and while this makes for much easier ground transportation for players on recall, the on-ice results have not been good thus far.
After five years on the job general manager Chuck Fletcher has made his mark on the Minnesota Wild, swiftly rebuilding a franchise that had lost its way. He has assembled a promising young core of Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, Jared Spurgeon, Erik Haula, Darcy Kuemper, Matt Dumba, and Christian Folin. With a strong group of veterans brought in via trade and free agency to supplement the few holdovers from the prior administrative regime, this leaves very little room for true prospects at the moment.
The Minnesota Wild organization does things just a little differently than other teams. Rather than relying heavily on the CHL or the European leagues, the Wild has drafted many players bound for U.S. colleges in recent years. This affords the team additional flexibility with contracts and salary while also potentially yielding professional assets who may have had a longer developmental timeframe (Erik Haula is the big success story so far).