If the Minnesota Wild should fail to qualify for the post-season, a lack of organizational depth is a key culprit. With Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Darcy Kuemper and Jason Zucker all graduated since the last Top 20, the depth chart looks as thin as it has been since spring 2010. Some questionable calls around the 2011 draft, plus the picks and assets traded away for Jason Pominville and Matt Moulson, hampered the team’s ability to acquire elite talent. There are some promising young players, but not many from this list will be suiting up in St. Paul next season. Restocking prospect depth the team lost out on in recent years is something the Wild needs to explore.
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.
Listing the Minnesota Wild‘s Top 20 Prospect Group is a more difficult exercise this fall, with a fairly clear-cut top four (including Erik Haula, who should graduate soon) followed by another 20 or so players with only a little separation. The Wild also added a lot of new blood to bolster the farm system, pushing some familiar names out of the Top 20.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced the TELUS three stars of the month for November.
The first star is awarded to Zack Phillips. In thirteen games, the Saint John Sea Dogs forward tallied 5 goals and 18 assists while posting a +13 rating. Phillips established a new team record by recording at least one point in 20 consecutive games. With a total of 48 points, he trails league-leader Zach O’Brien, by only four points. Phillips registered 16 of his 23 points during the Sea Dogs’ 8 road games. Phillips has been a key offensive producer in the absences of Stanislav Galiev and Jonathan Huberdeau.
The second star is awarded to Mikhail Grigorenko. The Quebec Remparts right-winger scored 10 goals and added 9 assists in 12 games. Moreover, he collected 2 points or more in 7 games this month while registering the game-winning goal in a big game versus the Saint John Sea Dogs a few days ago. Grigorenko went 4 consecutive games with at least one goal. The sniper is ranked third in the league in scoring with 22 goals.