Wild fans, despite only having a team for about ten years, have a severe case of Chicago Cubs syndrome. You see, Wild fans always have so much hope for their team, and have been met, more times than not, with some strong disappointment. Even the solace of a high draft pick didn't do much for the fans, as those high draft picks usually turned into third line grinders or complete and total disasters.
When discussing the new group of prospects coming through the ranks, the Chuck Fletcher class as it were, Wild fans keep their feelings close to the chest, not wanting to be exposed as a "homer" or as someone putting too much faith in someone that another team's fan base might think is worthless.
All that said, Wild fans like to hear good news about their team. Hell, any news, really. Good news is most welcome, and the gentlemen at Puck Prospectus give Wild fans some thing to be happy about today. Make the jump for the list, which includes five Wild prospects in the top 100.
In his top 100, writer Corey Pronman uses criteria I can get on board with:
Statistical performance is used as a complementary aid and adjusted for age, league quality, and other performance-altering factors. However, due to the lack of context in non-NHL statistics such as zone starts, quality of competition, and not having on-ice shot metrics, statistics are not given a heavy emphasis.My criteria for a prospect is based on a subjective evaluation if Prospect X has become an established NHL regular. While this leaves room for error, I feel I make fewer errors in terms of prospect definition then when I set arbitrary age or games played limits.
Looking at his list, the first thing that jumps out is the fact that Mikael Granlund is ranked as the best prospect on the list. Yes, that Mikael Granlund.
Here's the proof:
Top 100 NHL Prospects1. Mikael Granlund, Center, Minnesota Wild
2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Center, Edmonton Oilers
3. Ryan Johansen, Center, Columbus Blue Jackets
4. Brayden Schenn, Center, Philadelphia Flyers
5. Sean Couturier, Center, Philadelphia Flyers
6. Ryan Strome, Center, New York Islanders
7. Jonathan Huberdeau, Center, Florida Panthers
8. Vladimir Tarasenko, Right Wing, St. Louis Blues
9. Adam Larsson, Defense, New Jersey Devils
10. Andrei Loktionov, Center, Los Angeles Kings
I would not be lying when I say I was floored to see Granlund top the list. I know the kid is good, but I have yet to see him ranked that high. I haven't seen him in the top ten anywhere else.I am not sure how much stock to put in the list, but the fact that someone other than Wild fans think the kid is the best prospect in the world... that can maybe allow Wild fans to boast about something, if only until someone else crushes their spirit.
Other Wild prospects making the list:
42. Marco Scandella, Defense, Minnesota Wild
60. Jonas Brodin, Defense, Minnesota Wild
69. Charlie Coyle, Center, Minnesota Wild
93. Jason Zucker, Right Wing, Minnesota Wild
Certainly a little different order than Wild fans put them in, or I would put them in, but still... five Wild players in the top 100? That's going to take some getting used to.
What say you, Wilderness? Happy to see Granlund in the top spot? Is it too high? What the other guys on the list? What about the list as a whole?