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Minnesota Wild Prospect Rankings - February 2011

First off, my birthday was 12 days ago, and I am now 22. I feel old.

Now that the celebration is done, I'm here to post the Wild prospect rankings. After watching the World Juniors, I got a better view on some of the Wild's prospects, especially Jason Zucker.

And a quick update on the Wild's 2008 first round draft pick, defenseman Tyler Cuma. Michael Russo talks about him, read about it.

(Part 3 of 4. There will be four rankings throughout the year, during the beginning of August, December, February, and June)

Requirements for rookies:
*Under the age of 27
**Has played less than 15 NHL Games (some exceptions apply e.g Gillies)
***Has played less than 4 years of pro hockey

If a forward and defenseman has played more than 53 NHL games, he will no longer be considered a prospect. 15 games for goaltenders

Prospect Rankings

Rank August Rankings December Rankings February Rankings June Rankings
1. Mikael Granlund Marco Scandella
Mikael Granlund
2. Marco Scandella Mikael Granlund
Marco Scandella
3. Casey Wellman Casey Wellman
Matt Hackett
4. Tyler Cuma Matt Hackett
Jason Zucker
5. Matt Hackett Jason Zucker
Casey Wellman
6. Colton Gillies Erik Haula Darcy Kuemper
7. Brett Bulmer Tyler Cuma Brett Bulmer
8. Cody Almond Darcy Kuemper Erik Haula
9. Erik Haula Brett Bulmer Justin Falk
10. Maxim Noreau Justin Falk Jared Spurgeon
11. Johan Larsson Cody Almond Tyler Cuma
12. Nate Prosser Colton Gillies Maxim Noreau
13. Justin Falk Maxim Noreau Johan Larsson
14. Jason Zucker Johan Gustafsson Cody Almond
15. Anton Khudobin Johan Larsson Johan Gustafsson
16. Kristopher Foucault Jarod Palmer Anton Khudobin
17. Darcy Kuemper Anton Khudobin Colton Gillies
18. Kyle Medvec Matt Kassian Matt Kassian
19. Chad Rau Kristopher Foucault Kristopher Foucault
20. Jarod Palmer
Jared Spurgeon Nate Prosser
21. Joel Broda Nate Prosser Dennis Endras
22. Johan Gustafsson Petr Kalus Jarod Palmer
23. Petr Kalus Joel Broda Carson McMillan
24. Matt Kassian Carson McMillan Petr Kalus
25. Jere Sallinen Dennis Endras Dylen McKinlay
26. Dylen McKinlay Jere Sallinen Jere Sallinen
27. Carson McMillan Kyle Medvec Chad Rau
28. Anthony Hamburg Chad Rau Kyle Medvec
29. Sean Lorenz Dylen McKinlay Josh Caron
30. Bjorn Krupp Sean Lorenz Sean Lorenz
31. Chris Hickey Colton Jobke Joel Broda
32. Julian Walker Josh Caron Anthony Hamburg
Bjorn Krupp
Colton Jobke
Anthony Hamburg Bjorn Krupp
Chris Hickey Chris Hickey
Julian Walker Julian Walker


Who's Hot

Darcy Kuemper G

Kuemper consistently brings a tremendous game, making January his best month yet. Kuemper recently had a nine-game winning streak, four of them being shutouts and boasting a beautiful 0.937 save percentage and a minuscule1.74 GAA in January. In addition, he was named WHL and CHL goaltender of the week, making this his third time this season winning both awards. He leads WHL goaltendrs with a 1.87 GAA, a 0.933 save percentage, 11 shutouts, 36 wins and is fourth in minutes played.

Brett Bulmer LW

After starting the season slow with a -14 rating in his first 13 games, Bulmer recently went on a ten game point-streak with 4 goals and 11 assists. Regan Bartel (Kelowna Rocket's radio broadcaster as well as their Michael Russo equivalent) mentioned:

Sleeping giant: Brett Bulmer. Once Bulmer adds consistency to his game, look out. When Bulmer is on, he's a game breaker. When he's off, you scratch your head wondering where did this guy go? A good skater, play maker and shooter, Bulmer has it he's blessed with good size. The complete package? If he figures out what is needed to be consistent every night he will be a top 20 point getter in the WHL. Guaranteed.

However, Bulmer has hit a rough patch once again, going -5 and 24 PIM in his last 6 games. Still, he has beaten his previous season numbers and warrants a nudge up the rankings.

Jason Zucker LW

Zucker continues his goal-scoring ways with 18 goals this season, best in WCHA conference scoring. Amazing how is doing that as a freshman. Zucker then brought his skills into the World Juniors where, in my opinion, shined with his tenacity on the forecheck. He displayed good speed, an impressive physical game and a dangerous shot. Hopefully, the next step for Zucker is to claim leadership roles at Denver University and the following World Juniors, with already three gold and one bronze medals under his belt. 

Johan Larsson C

Recently named a top three player on the Swedish team by coaches at the World Junior Championships, Larsson. led the entire tournament with an impressive 70.59% faceoff percentage and posted a modest one goal and three assists in four games. After an successful holiday performance, Larsson picked up two more points in January, increasing his totals to 6 points this season, while playing only 8:31 minutes per game in the top Swedish professional league.

Who's Cold

Tyler Cuma D

Whenever Cuma plays in Minnesota, he impresses fans with his skating ability and his poise. However, his future is once again in question, after suffering a season ending ACL injury. Already suffering from several knee injuries and an elbow injury since draft year, Cuma was hoping to show management that he has recovered from such setbacks. Unfortunately, he is going to rest those dreams for now and tend to his injuries.

Cody Almond C

Almond's December performance where he scored seven goals and four assists in 14 games were quickly  overshadowed by his cold performance in January where he assisted only twice in his January. He has started to pick up his play with four points in his last 6 games but hopefully, he can continue with consistency. With the recent success in the Wild's defensive prospects, it would be nice to see forwards like Almond find similar successes.