Photo: Minnesota’s Erik Haula has struggled to perform in a tough-minutes role (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon Sportswire)
The NHL’s salary cap forced Chuck Fletcher and the Minnesota Wild into a tough balancing act. On the one side are the well-paid veterans whose skill levels are established, if subject to bad luck and other kinds of decline. On the other side are the players on a first contract or an entry-level deal: the rookies and the young core. These players offer occasional glimpses of their best selves, but often disappoint with mistakes or other kinds of regression, especially when they are thrust into new roles. Mediocrity is the result when rookies fail to make the leap to consistent good play and veterans fall back a step.
Photo: Western Michigan forward Frederik Tiffels was the leading scorer for Germany at the 2015 World Junior Championship, having produced four points (2G, 2A) in six games (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
The final month of 2014 marked the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half of the NCAA hockey season. Due to the holiday break, there were fewer games played. Nevertheless, December saw some impressive performances from prospects around the NCAA. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at some of the more notable ones. Read more»
Photo: Forward Jordan Schroeder is one of a handful of players who are playing their first season with the Minnesota Wild organization. A former first round pick by the Vancouver Canucks, Schroeder was signed by the Wild last July. (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
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.
Photo: Eric Comrie is one of several talented goaltending prospects in the Winnipeg Jets organization. Comrie is currently representing Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championships. (courtesy of Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Welcome to the second installment of On the Rush for the 2014-15 season. This month we feature a diverse group of players, including two goalies from the same pipeline, an outstanding young Swiss league player, and a junior talent who has overcome health concerns. Several prospects who are currently representing their countries at the 2015 World Junior Championships are also featured this month.
Photo: Minnesota Wild rookie defenseman Christian Folin played two seasons at UMass Lowell, netting 12 goals and adding 29 assists for 41 points in 79 NCAA games (courtesy of Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild defenseman Christian Folin was a coveted free agent after completing his sophomore season at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell back in March. In his 12th NHL game, Folin started to pay some dividends on his signing with the Wild by scoring his first NHL goal, the only goal for the Wild in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Read more»