It is that time again in mid-summer where Wild fans can head back indoors and catch some free hockey action in Downtown Saint Paul. The Wild is hosting 46 players including its players selected in the draft two weeks ago. The six-day camp will feature two inter-squad scrimmages; one on Saturday, July 11th at 2:30 pm at Xcel Energy Center, and the other on Tuesday the 14th at 6:30 pm.
Here is the full roster of players expected to be in attendance:
Of the 46 players expected to be seen, I'm most looking forward to catching a glimpse of the sheer size that is Jordan Greenway, and to find out exactly what Joel Eriksson Ek is all about. Mike Reilly is intriguing as he will be given every opportunity to make the NHL squad out of training camp and it will be our first chances to see him up close in a Wild sweater. If you're wondering what you should expect from the former stand-out defenseman from the University of Minnesota, you should expect to see a very mobile defenseman that makes smart passes and he should be doing it at a level where he really is a man among boys on the ice.
Without Darcy Kuemper or Johan Gustafsson in this camp, it will be intriguing to see how Kaapo Kahkonen looks after a decent season in Finland last year. As will newest Wild signee, Stephen Michalek. He had solid seasons for the Harvard Crimson and will be turning pro because of the NCAA denying his plead for another year on eligibility.
Then it will be a good chance to see the progression of 2014 draft picks like Alex Tuch, Louis Belpedio, Reid Duke and Pavel Jenys. In years past, fans were given a show with the talent of Erik Haula, Mikael Granlund, and Jason Zucker, whereas now the Wild are really bringing some serious size to camp. Outside of Greenway, 13 other players stand at 6'3" or taller. Thirteen players weigh in over 200 pounds.
There are 13 camp invitees this year. Remember the Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson was once a PDC invitee before he chose to sign with Tampa. Johnson became the story for the Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While most of these players won't become the Tyler Johnson's on the league, some of these players have come to camp and really shone through. Last year, Zach Palmquist was a camp invitee, but was then signed as a free agent to the Iowa Wild for last season.
If you can't make it to St. Paul on Saturday or Tuesday, last year, the Wild streamed the scrimmages online at Wild.com. This year, Tom Reid and Brandon Mileski will call the scrimmage on Saturday and Joe O'Donnell of Iowa wild Radio and Kevin Falness will call Tuesday's scrimmage. If you can make it, give us a tweet as we'd be happy to meet you and talk all things Wild puck!