Wild Developmetal Camp 101 - Defensemen

Soon, prospects from around the world will be gathering in Minnesota for the Wild's Developmental Camp. For a whole week, the prospects will learn from the coaching staff what it will take to become a professional hockey player and what they need to improve individually. They will also undergo team-building exercises and will be introduced to the Wild organization as to become familiar with the team before signing their first professional contract.

Within that week, there will be two scrimmages, one open to only season ticket holders, and the other, open to everyone.

Now, have you ever walked into a hockey game and had no clue who was on the ice? I have, and I'm assuming you all have too. The upcoming prospect scrimmage is no different, as it includes prospects from around the world. So, to help you out, Hockey Wilderness will give the crash course on the Wild prospects and on the camp invitees!

Comments are a collection of quotes made by fans, players, coaches and management found through different sources.

 

Wild Prospects

Defensemen


Comments:

very good puck moving skills ... reliable two-way defender ... strong skater ... big offensive upside ... knows when to pass or carry the puck out ... high hockey IQ ... good vision ... excellent work ethic ... won Ottawa 67's Top Scholastic Player (2008)... not physical enough ... not confident enough.
Projection:
Cuma’s developing years have not been a promising one. After showing great poise in his first training camp with the Wild and was almost guaranteed a spot on the WJC Canada Team, Cuma injured himself where he would limit himself to only 21 games. He was expected to rebound quickly during the following year but for some reason, looked lost offensively and defensively. Cuma seemed to have lost confidence after the injury which would cause him to make bad decisions. Unfortunately, I think it might be stretch if I were to expect much offense from Cuma now, but becoming a top 4 defensive defenseman is still not out of the question (similar style to Nick Schultz). He still has time to find his game and will be able to do so with the Houston Aeros as a rookie or with the Ottawa 67’s as an overager.



Comments:
big stay-at-home defenseman ... good skating and mobile for his size ... plays positionally sound hockey ... good vision ... not overly physical ... average puck skills ... lacks offensive upside ...
Projection:
A safe, big stay-at-home defenseman. Falk has the size to stop forwards from trying to set up plays and he also has the reach to block passing lanes. And while many big players are thought to be average skaters, Falk is quite mobile for a 6-5 hockey player. He prefers to play a sound, defensive game instead of going for the big hit, which has its pros and cons for a big guy like him. When he was called up to the Wild, he did not look terribly out of place. Doesn’t have much offensive upside but as long as he takes care of his own end, there’s little to not make me think he can develop into a very good bottom pairing defenseman.



Comments:
has decent size ... responsible in his own end ... solid defensive hockey sense ... lacks puck skills ... limited upside ...
Projection:
I never understood why the Wild signed Krupp. Nothing about Krupp stands out, besides maybe his poor decision making. He has decent size and solid defensive skills but that’s about it. On a team that struggled through the whole year, Krupp had a -42 rating, the next team worst rating would be -27. Not impressive for a defensive defenseman. I would have to guess his ceiling would be a bottom pairing defensive defenseman but we’ll have to see if he can even make it out of juniors as a decent hockey player.



Comments:
tough, stay-at-home defenseman ... skates well ... good size ... smart hockey player ... plays physical ... limited offensive abilities ...
Projection:
Lorenz is a simple, stay-at-home defenseman that will probably play out his college years and a couple few with the Aeros before reaching the NHL. While not overly big for a purely defensive style game, Lorenz likes to play physical and is regarded to make smart decisions. Has very limited offensive abilities so I don’t think there is much more to expect from Lorenz just than a bottom-pairing defenseman.



Comments:
big size ... likes to play physical ... long reach ... decent puck skills ... hard shot ... finalist for Mr.Hockey Award (2006) ... needs to improve his skating ... limited offensive upside
Projection:
Another safe pick made by the Wild, Medvec is not expected to be more than a physical, stay-at-home defenseman. He has a limited offensive upside and like many big hockey players, his skating needs improvement. If he can improve his skating, he could make a decent bottom paring defenseman but will most likely to spend his four years in college and a few in the AHL before making it to the NHL.



Comments:
skates very well ... not afraid of physical play ... has plenty of offensive skills ... defensively sound ... can move the puck well ... has a good shot ... smart player ... competitive ... AHL Second All-Star Team (2010) ... somewhat undersized ...
Projection:
Small but skilled, Noreau has been one of the top producers for the Aeros for the past few seasons. He has shown to be able to put up points in the AHL, the question is, can he translate it into the NHL. He has tons of offensive ability and isn’t a liability defensively. However, standing at 5-11, some worry if he is too undersized to be an NHL defenseman. In his one game call-up to the Wild, he did not look overly impressive but one game is hardly a reasonable amount of games to gauge. At this point, Noreau could be a solid bottom pairing defenseman who would quarterback the powerplay./p>



Comments:
offensive defenseman ... good size ... very mobile ... moves the puck well ... takes care of his own zone ... plays with an edge ... quite poised ... has good vision ... makes the good first pass ... needs to improve his skating ...
Projection:
Only three games with the Wild, and he already have fans excited. In those few games, he showed confidence, solid shot, and a physical edge. I liked the fact that he got some time on the powerplay, and he did not disappoint either. Prosser looks like he has the tools to become a very good bottom pairing defenseman, but since defensemen take longer to develop, it would not be crazy to hope he could turn into a #3-4 hockey player.



Comments:
defensive defenseman ... big, strong d-man ... strong skater ... very mobile for his size ... possesses a big shot ... plays physical ... responsible in both ends ... has put up points in juniors ... long wingspan ... plays a simple game ... silver medal WJC Canada team (2010) ... needs to move the puck quicker ...
Projection:
No Wild prospect has risen their stock since their draft year as much as Scandella has. His talents were highlighted when he played as part of the shutdown defensive pairing in the WJC U-20s. Possessing good mobility, a big body and willingness to be physical, Scandella has a bright future, and can be expected to become a #3-4 defenseman for the Wild.

 

Invitees



Comments:
pure enforcer ... extremely tough ... very good fighter ... limited offense ...
Projection:
After giving up on Derek Boogaard and John Scott, I don’t think the Wild really need another enforcer. It was evident that GM Chuck Fletcher was acquiring players that can contribute on the forecheck, play tough, and willing to drop the gloves as opposed to players who are there just to fight. With that said, I don’t see much future for Caron with the Wild as he is one of the best fighters in juniors, but not that great as a hockey player, and that doesn’t follow the style GMCF was going for when he acquired Nystrom and Staubitz.



Comments:
all-round defenseman ... selected to the All-Midwest Regional Team (2010) .... named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team (2009) ... does not possess huge upside ...
Projection:
I can’t find much about Schilling except that he is coveted by a lot of NHL teams as he is a college free agent. Since the Wild have a history of picking up Miami University prospects (Ryan Jones, Brian Kaufman, Jarod Palmer), Schilling should be one of the players in camp that will be getting a good look at.



Comments:
excellent two-way game ... very good hockey IQ ... patient with the puck ... willing to block shots ... won Spokane Chief's Defenseman of the Year Award (2010, 2009), and the Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year (2008) ... small player ... average skater ... not physically intimidating ...
Projection:
Drafted by the New York Islanders in 2008, he was not signed by the team and is now a free agent. Spurgeon sounds like a very skilled player, but his size works against him, being only 5-8 and only an average skater. However, with the success Maxim Noreau has been having, Spurgeon might get a look to see if he can develop with Houston.

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