The Minnesota Wild organization is suffering from a deficit of players who consistently put the puck in the net. General Manager Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brent Flahr have been aggressive in the young NCAA offseason in signing players who have found success in the college ranks. Today, the team made another move to add some offense to the ranks by adding Qunnipiac's leading scorer, Sam Anas. He joins the Wild organization as an undrafted prospect, having just completed his junior season with the Bobcats.
The Anas signing bucks the trend of the Wild acquiring power forwards such as Alex Tuch and Mario Lucia, who also recently signed out of the NCAA. The 22-year old is listed at 5'8" and just 150lbs, which is a pure contrast to the glut of 6-foot plus 200lb players the team has targeted in trades, the draft and free agency over the last few seasons. Anas is a right shot and can play center or wing.
While the Anas signing is a departure from the path the Wild have been on, the intent of it is clear. The Wild need more offense and want to take a look at a player who scored 132 points over a 121 game NCAA career. The total includes 69 goals scored with 63 assists. Anas also spent two years in the USHL, posting 97 points over 118 games at age 18 and 19. He was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2014 after scoring 43 points with 22 goals. He went on to lead Quinnipiac in scoring for all three years he was a member and served as an alternate captain in 2015-16.
Due to his diminutive size, Anas is the type of player often overlooked by NHL scouts. However, his skill and hockey IQ led him to immediate and lasting success in his college career. He is known for his speed, quick stick and above all else, his hockey instinct. He has attended prospect camps with the Capitals, Canadiens and Islanders. The Wild missed out on signing another diminutive forward that attended their own prospect camp a few seasons back in Tyler Johnson, who went on to post a great season for the Lightning last year and become part of their future plans. The Wild are hoping to catch similar lightning in a bottle with Anas, who brings his scoring touch to an organization desperately in need of scorers.
Here's a quick look at one of his goals from a couple weeks ago:
OH MY!!!!— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 28, 2016
Sam Anas with the DANGLE! #NCAAHockey pic.twitter.com/X0KotYo2Qr