Good Afternoon Wilderness... Again, we're getting closer to the season opener. When this article posts, there will be a little less than 11 days left until the season kicks off. Training Camp is in full swing and the Wild have played a couple of pre-season games. So far, the Wild hold a 1-1 record.
I have been pondering, what young players are going to make the Minnesota Wild out of training camp. There are a couple of the younger players, that I feel have a legitimate shot of making the team out of training camp, if everything goes their way. RookiesErik Haula and Matt Dumba are two of those players that I think have a legitimate shot of making the Wild out of training camp.
While I don't want to see the Wild rush Matt Dumba, and I am sure they won't. Obviously, many in the Wilderness fans base are hoping that he's going to be the next young star like Jonas Brodin and make the Wild as a rookie.
I am one of those people.
Again, the Wild didn't have a training camp last year due to the lockout, but still, it was a nice surprise to have a rookie like Jonas Brodin make the team, and play 45 of the teams 48 regular season games. Brodin averaged over 23 minutes per game playing mostly with all-world defenseman Ryan Suter, during the lockout abbreviated season.
Before writing this post, like most Wild fans, I was reading Russo's Rants. Duh! Right? In my humble opinion, Michael Russo is one the best beat writers in the NHL. Religiously, I check out his work every day during the regular season. I feel like he's got a good grasp on what going on with the Wild. Tonight, while reading his blog post, he floored me with this quote at the end of his post.
Yeo said Dumba's been told that he can't make the team just by playing safe. He's got to "get up to the line and not cross it." Dumba provides a dimension the Wild doesn't have, and the Wild wants to see it for him to be here. I still think he makes the team.
That would be a huge story, Dumba making the Wild out of training camp. Stay tuned for this developing story.
Another young player that the Wild coaching staff seems pleased with is Erik Haula. Having watched him play for two years in college while he was a member of the Minnesota Gophers, I thought he was the real deal. Last season, he led the Gophers with (20g-29a-49pts). Haula is a very fast skater that, has some great hands. Whether this translates to the NHL, that is another thing, but I think he's got a decent chance of playing with the Wild this season.
After the game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo had this to say about the former Minnesota Golden Gophers forward : "First NHL game, you can tell he's very confident. Very impressed."
I guess only time will tell before we find out if Haula makes the Wild out of training camp or not.
One player that I am hopeful will make the Wild in the near future, is former Minnesota Duluth Bulldog forward Justin Fontaine. According the Wild site, the winger is expected to get a good look during camp.
In conclusion, training camp and the pre-season is like a receiving a new life. The season starts from scratch and everyone has the same 0-0 record. With each New Year, there is a new story line. Maybe a new upcoming player that makes the team out of training camp. Who do you think that next player is going to be?