Defense / Houston Aeros
Jan 19 1990
Selected: 1st Round (#23rd overall)
When Cuma was drafted, the Wild were hoping to get a defenseman with tons of tools (size, mobility, poise, hockey sense) that had a low risk bust factor. If we wasn't going to turn into a top four defenseman, his mobility and poise would make him a decent depth defenseman.
What the Wild did not expect was the injuries that followed.
According to Russo, he has suffered three knee injuries, an elbow injury, an injury to his nether regions and a stress fracture to his foot, since being drafted. His left knee suffered three injuries.
For a player whose game is focused on his mobility and poise, getting injured constantly does a number of his ability to skate and his confidence. The 2011-12 seems to be the only season where me managed a full season.
And with that said, Cuma have seemed to find his game as a defensive defenseman and in his first full pro season, he started to fix the holes in his game. Although only one game, he looked quite good in his single NHL call-up, albeit a terrible first play.
Even though drafted four seasons ago, this is really his first pro season, so potential is still there. Time is running out however, with next year being his last year on his entry level deal. It'll be interesting to see what gives.
Defense / Minnesota Wild
Feb 23 1990
Selected: 2nd Round (#55th overall)
Status: NHL Player
A toolsy-type of prospect when drafted,Scandella has seemed to successfully put it all together.
After a few ups and downs at the beginning of the season, Scandella slowly began to refine his game and now the second most ice-time for the Wild. He's a big and mobile defensive defenseman with long reach and a strong body. His offense hasn't seen much success but, at least for me, I feel it will come eventually.
Scandella is most definitely one of the steals of the draft, selected late in the 2nd round. He'll soon become one of the top Minnesota Wild defensemen, eating up top minutes and contributing to the special teams.
Selected: 4th Round (#115th overall)
If you haven't noticed, I simply love athletes with school smarts. It tells me that they have their priorities straight and put in the extra effort to do so.
Lorenz entered his senior year with a 3.412 GPA while overseeing the Notre Dame hockey team’s community service efforts this season. If that doesn't spell out character, I don't know what does.
Hockey wise, he is a skilled defensive defenseman, named the CCHA Top Defensive Defenseman last season. He has only played two games with the Aeros before getting injured. The defensive group in Houston is deep with talent so Lorenz will have to fight his way through.
Left Wing / Lukko Rauma
Apr 26 1990
Selected: 5th Round (#145th overall)
Remember this guy? The surprise pick from the Wild, since no one knew who this person was.
Stat-wise, Elo started to show some promise with a 46 points in 42 games post-draft season with his Finnish junior team, then showing an impressive 10 points in 19 games with his pro team the following season.
However, by the time the Wild had to decide whether to offer him a contract, Elo was still considered to be very raw and his hockey sense was questionable. Although still doing decently in Finland, it is quite safe to say that Elo's future with the Wild is done.
Center / Houston Aeros
Nov 24 1989
Selected: 5th Round (#144th overall)
Broda was signed as a free agent in hopes of fixing the previously barren Wild prospect pool. He previously led the Calgary Hitmen with 39 goals in just 66 games so there was hope of some offensive potential.
That has not fully translated at the pro level.
Broda has made strides with the Aeros and managed to play an entire season with the team, but for an offensive prospect, he was outplayed by teammates Chad Rau, Justin Fontaine and Casey Wellman.
Unless he has a breakout season next year, Broda will find that his contract year will be his final year with the Wild.
Defense / Minnesota Wild
Nov 29 1989
Selected: 6th Round (#156th overall)
Status: NHL Player
The New York Islanders decided not to give Spurgeon an entry level deal because of size concerns, the Wild instead gave him a chance. What a steal for the Wild.
Spurgeon has quickly developed from a depth defenseman to a top four guy and while he won't win any strength battles, he compensates his lack of size with amazing poise and hockey sense. He simply just wins puck battles for some reason.
And with a team that lacks puck mobility from the blueline, Spurgeon has help bandage that weakness. I can't say enough good things about him and what a steal.
Producing a guy like Scandella with only four picks is a great success IMO. I am really confident in him and really feel Spurgeon and him (as well as Brodin) are the future for the Wild on the blueline for the next few years (and until we draft more guys). Speaking of Spurgeon, he was an absolute steal, and coming out with Scandella and Spurgeon in one draft is an amazing feat.
In addition, Cuma and Lorenz are just starting to cement their position in the pro level, and both are skilled at what they do.
With Elo, the Wild gambled and they lost, and Broda seems to be running out of time.
Overall, an extreme success for the Wild, albeit through a due of a 2nd round selection and a non-Wild draft pick.