Tyler Cuma
Image: NHL

Tyler Cuma


Bowmanville Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









1st round (23rd overall), 2008


180 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D


2006-07: After being selected sixth overall in the 2006 OHL Priority Draft, Tyler Cuma went on to have a very good season with the Ottawa 67s. Named team rookie of the year, Cuma registered 19 points (3 goals, 16 assists) in 63 games.

2007-08: The only Ottawa defenseman with a positive plus/minus rating, Cuma was also able to increase his offensive output from the blueline. With 32 points (4 goals, 28 assists) in 59 regular season games, Cuma was second among defensemen on the 67s in scoring. He won Ottawa's Top Scholastic Player and was named to the OHL All-Star Game. Cuma was also named to Team Canada in both the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2008 U-18 WJCs in Russia. Drafted by Minnesota in the first round, 23rd overall, in 2008.

2008-09: Cuma was expected to challenge for a roster spot on the Wild, represent Canada at the World Junior Championships and lead his vastly improved 67’s deep into the postseason. Cuma did come close to cracking the Wild roster, as he was one of the last players cut, and was all but guaranteed a roster spot on Canada’s junior squad until tearing his MCL at Canada’s world junior camp. After watching team Canada win gold from the side line, Cuma had to have his torn MCL surgically repaired, putting an end to what would have probably been his final year in the OHL.

2009-10: Cuma returned to the Ottawa 67's for a fourth OHL season after signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Wild in July 2011. After playing in just 21 seasons the previous year due to a knee injury, Cuma was a force on defense as Ottawa finished first in the East Division and won a first round playoff series. Skating in 52 of 68 games he scored 5 goals with 17 assists and was +9 with 73 PMs, third most on the team. Cuma played in all 12 playoff games and was -2 with 5 assists and 20 PMS.

2010-11: Cuma skated in 31 games for the AHL's Houston Aeros in his first pro season; suffering a season-ending knee injury in late February. Cuma was -3 for the Aeros, with 1 goal, 3 assists and 15 PMs.

2011-12: Cuma made his NHL debut with the Wild in an April game against Chicago and skated in 73 games for Minnesota's AHL affiliate in Houston in his second pro season. He saw 11 minutes of ice time and had 2 penalty minutes in 16 shifts in his only NHL game. Putting the knee issues of the previous few seasons behind him, he had a full-time role with the Aeros, finishing minus-four with 9 assists and 48 penalty minutes. Houston finished fourth in the West Division; falling to Oklahoma City in four games in a best-of-five first round playoff series. Cuma played in two playoff games and was minus-one with no points or penalty minutes.

2012-13: One season after playing a career-high 73 AHL games and making his NHL debut Cuma was again sidetracked by injuries – missing nearly a month after suffering a foot injury in February. In 42 games for the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston, he scored 1 goal with 11 assists and was -8 with 14 penalty minutes. The Aeros were fourth in the South Division and lost to Grand Rapids in the first round of the playoffs. Cuma played in one playoff game and was -1 with no points nor penalty minutes. He was re-signed by the Wild to a one-year contract as a restricted free agent in July, 2013.


Talent Analysis

A reliable two-way defenseman of average size, Cuma had a big offensive upside, which he employs effectively without sacrificing coverage in his own zone. A strong skater with excellent puck moving skills, Cuma has a high hockey IQ and good vision. When these talents are coupled with his outstanding work ethic, Cuma has a bright future.



Cuma is an important part of the Iowa blue line who could see some time as an injury call-up this season.


Marco Scandella lone NHL player from Minnesota Wild’s defense-heavy 2008 draft

by Peter Prohaska
Marco Scandella - Minnesota Wild

Photo: Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella is the organization's only 2008 pick to establish a role at the NHL level. (courtesy of Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)

The 2007-08 season had its positives for a franchise finally finding its legs, including a first divisional banner, but the subsequent crash and burn against the Avalanche in the playoffs is emblematic of the end of an era. The Minnesota Wild headed to Ottawa in June with its confidence shattered and certainly no closer to a coherent vision of how to build a winner. With picks jettisoned for ineffective role players, the team recklessly punted on what was to be the final draft of the Doug Risebrough era.

Read more»

Minnesota Wild’s minor league system the envy of the NHL

by Peter Prohaska
Jonas Brodin - Houston Aeros

Photo: Defenseman Jonas Brodin, who has missed most of the first half of the season with a broken collarbone, is one of the high-profile prospects making their debut in Houston this season. (courtesy of Juan DeLeon/Icon SMI)

Although many people in and around the world of hockey were negatively affected by the 2012 NHL lockout, the Minnesota Wild was no doubt one team that saw a silver lining. With a cluster of players around the same age needing a developmental year or three in the AHL, the lockout saved the team from hard personnel decisions while also giving these young players a great opportunity to learn to play the pro game together at a high level of competition.

Read more»

Minnesota Wild’s prospect pool boasts top-end talent and character

by Peter Prohaska
Johan Larsson - Houston Aeros

Photo: Johan Larsson is one of the many top prospects spending the 2012-13 season with the AHL's Houston Aeros. (courtesy of Juan DeLeon/Icon SMI)

The Wild is still in the midst of a controlled rebuilding process. While the team has added immediate help at the NHL level for some areas of deficiency, most notably an elite top-pairing defenseman in Ryan Suter, an underrated top-four defenseman in Tom Gilbert, and an all-star scoring winger in Zach Parise, a few barren years at the draft kept the team from contention recently. Very strong drafts in 2010 and 2011, punctuated by the trade for Charlie Coyle, have put the team in excellent shape to be contenders soon. The core might be able to take advantage of the NHL lockout to grow together at the AHL level. Part of the Minnesota mentality is knowing there is a long winter ahead to test for weaknesses. With luck, this group of prospects will emerge strong and battle-tested.

Read more»

Next wave of Minnesota Wild prospects debuting in AHL top story of 2012-13

by Peter Prohaska
Mario Lucia - Minnesota Wild

Photo: A leg injury will delay Mario Lucia's debut at Notre Dame, but the big winger has the potential to make an instant impact when he rejoins the team mid-season. (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)

The Wild by design has its top prospects all scheduled to play professional hockey this season. Though obviously dependent on the quick resolution of  labor strife at the NHL level, Mikael Granlund should be playing with the Wild while an excellent group of young players in Matt Hackett, Jonas Brodin, Charlie Coyle, Zack Phillips, Johan Larsson, Jason Zucker, and Brett Bulmer are presumably going to be playing with the AHL's Houston Aeros. The AHL as a whole will be be fun to watch this year. For Wild fans it is a glimpse of a promising future.

Read more»

Matt Dumba adds even more firepower to impressive group of Minnesota Wild prospects

by Peter Prohaska

Mikael Granlund - Team Finland U20

Mikael Granlund will make his North American debut in 2012-13 following another year of international success and a top-ten finish in the SM-liiga scoring race. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The Wild's system was bolstered again at the 2012 NHL Draft, with Red Deer defenseman Matt Dumba immediately jumping into the top five. While the team did not graduate many players last season, the team willingly parted ways with a few prospects that did not look to be part of the program going forward. None of the 2012 draftees are very close to cracking an NHL roster, but several have enough upside to be included here.

Read more»