Voted by the Hockey Wilderness readers, the Minnesota Wild’s number one prospect is Mikael Granlund!
A rightfully so!
There hasn’t been such an exciting prospect for the Wild since Marian Gaborik, who has left us with a terrible bitter taste in our mouths.
But anyways, you have chosen Granlund as our top prospect, and we will look into why! Not only will you understand why, you will also get prepared for the upcoming season as we watch these kids turn into NHL players, and hopefully, into key Minnesota Wild players.
#64 / Center / HIFK
Feb 26, 1992
|2010 - HIFK
Extremely hockey smart. Very creativity and can create plays out of nowhere. Has elusive skating and the ability to move in traffic. Handles the puck very well. Good selection of shots. Decent physical package considering small height. Not afraid to get physical; to give a hit or take one. Plays with intensity and plays bigger than he actually is. Plays well at both ends of the ice. Extremely versatile; able to play center or wing. Has a wealth of experience playing in men’s league as well as playing in a men’s tournament during the World Championships. Has been a winner at all levels he has played in.
Does not possess top-notch speed. Considered undersized at 5’10".
You may call me a homer because of the lack of info I listed under weaknesses, but honestly, I couldn’t think of many. He is a solid offensive player all-around, with emphasis on his playmaking ability. He can play at both ends and unlike your stereotypical small forward, Granlund plays with intensity and plays physical. He’ll give that hit to make the play, or even take one.
His skating has been is knock ever since his draft year, but his full-speed doesn’t seem to be a liability. While he isn’t as fast as you want from a 5’10" player, Granlund is so smart that he knows how to get into the right places. He also knows how to create them when he is in the offensive zone, setting plays from behind the net or in front of it.
He has a great chance of becoming a top six forward in the NHL. He has everything going for him and hasn’t slowed down since being drafted. In fact, I would say, he stepped up, winning the FEL Championship and WC Championship as a youngster. I still wonder if the Wild still hopes for him to become a center or a winger and whether his game will translate into a star NHLer or just a good top six forward.