Photo: 2010 first-round pick Mikael Granlund was the first elite talent drafted by the Minnesota Wild since Brent Burns in 2003 (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon Sportswire)
It is not much exaggeration to say that the 2010 NHL Draft is the most important event in the brief history of the Minnesota Wild thus far. Not just the players drafted, but also those subsequently acquired, have transformed the Wild into a Stanley Cup contender. The young franchise risked stagnation, a victim of middling finishes and some notable draft misses. Read more»
Photo: Jason Zucker won an NHL roster spot in training camp in part because of his speed and tenacity. (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon Sportswire)
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.
Matt Dumba was nearly a point-per-game player for the Portland Winterhawks in 2013-14. (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
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.
Photo: Defenseman Matt Dumba takes over the top spot in this edition of the Minnesota Wild Top 20. Dumba opened the 2013-14 season in the NHL, but he is currently skating with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon SMI)
Jonas Brodin, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, and Nino Niederreiter have graduated from prospect status and now appear to be legitimate NHL players, though all still at various early stages of their careers.
Photo: Rookie pro Erik Haula already has 10 NHL games under his belt in 2013-14. He is currently with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, where he leads the team with 16 points in 22 games this season (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
As the Minnesota Wild goes through periods of unforeseeable injury and head-smacking offensive inability, several burgeoning talents from the Iowa squad have stepped up into NHL roles.