Wild Draft Smart, Draft Dumba

Photo taken by Keith Srakrocic of the Associated Press.

Every year I fall in love with a prospect slated to go right around where the Wild pick. In 2010, I fell in love with a young man named Ryan Johanson, who the Blue Jackets picked up at #4, 5 picks before the Wild were picking. Though Johanson is one of the best prospects in the game, it should be noted that it didn’t work out to badly for the Wild, as Granlund is at the very least a player of Johanson’s caliber, if not more. Last year, I was all about Mika Zibanejad, who the Ottawa Senators snapped up at #6, 4 picks shy of the Wild’s pick. Again, Zibanejad is a top prospect, but Jonas Brodin isn’t too shabby himself.

This year, I had my flag planted towards Red Deer Rebels defenseman Mathew Dumba, a defensive prospect with amazing tools to go with nice leadership skills, and from what I’d been convinced (from people’s writing, not my own ocular observations) good hockey sense to boot. Of course, after disappointment I’ve had the last two years, I’ve told myself over and over again that Dumba would disappear between picks 4-6, with the confidence that the Wild’s scouting staff would snap up a good player regardless.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Continue reading

JLT’s Last Minute Minnesota Wild Draft Primer!

This image was taken from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN (@Real_ESPNLeBrun). All credit goes to him.

The draft is starting tonight, and the Wild have the #7 pick. So, let’s take a quick look at who the Wild can, might, and should pick. (For my alcohol-induced, llama infested mock draft, see here.)

I think at the very least, Yakupov, Murray, and Forsberg will be off the board by the time the Wild pick. But that leaves about 8 players that could be taken with #7, in my opinion, here’s a briefing of who they are, a case for and against picking them, and the chance I think the Wild would pick them. I will be listing them in order of my preference of the Wild calling their name tonight. Continue reading

May 2012 Prospect Rankings 4 – 1

So, this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The top prospects in the Minnesota Wild system. Don’t let me stop you from these rankings, check em out after the jump.

4. Johan Larsson- Center/Left Winger- Brynas (Elitserien- SWE)

2012 WJC: 6 Games; 0 Goals; 6 Assists

2011-2012 Elitserien: 49 Games; 12 Goals; 24 Assists

2012 Elitserien Playoffs: 16 Games; 2 Goals; 8 Assists

2012 World Championsips: 7 Games; 0 Goals; 2 Assists

Continue reading

Sundays With Sid*: That Hockey Player Edition

Look, I know the newspaper columnist game. Pageviews, pageviews, pageviews. Is everybody looking at me? No? WELL THEN, WRITE A FLAMEPIECE ON OKLAHOMA!!! So, yeah, I might just be playing directly into their hands, but Michael (Not Mee-Kyle) Russo of the Star Tribune posted a link to long time Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman “Going off on Granlund” on SidCast.

From the extensive amount of research I put into this article (watching this one SidCast twice), I can only deduce that SidCast consists of Chris Miller from the Star Tribune goading Sid into being ridiculous and curmudgeonly, and Sid taking the bait like a hungry walleye.

For your convenience, I have created a SidCast guide for today’s episode: “Don’t Compare Granlund to Rubio”. Continue reading

May 2012 Prospect Rankings: 7 – 5

I’m not getting cute today. You want your prospect rankings? Good, here they are, after the jump. I hope they blow your mind. Spoiler Alert: Mikael Granlund isn’t in these next three slots, but there’s still some good peoples who will be making an impact fairly soon.

Just remember, if you want to keep up with the happenings of this blog, follow Jacques Lemaire’s Trap @TonyWiseau on Twitter. I’m hilarious and insightful, and even if I’m not, I only post a few times a day.

But I’m tired and cranky, so that’s all I’m saying for now.

Continue reading

May 2012 Prospect Rankings: Honorable Mention – 8

Yep, guys, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior Saturday (I’m the one that looks most like a bridge troll, the other two are my roommates, who got Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude. I apparently just got cum.). As you might be able to imagine, a semester with three classes, two capstones, and a play doesn’t leave a lot of room for blogging. This is disappointing, because I was enjoying the process, enjoying putting out content, and enjoying the fact that there was some growth among the readership. Also, the Schultz, Zidlicky, Zanon trades, the end of a dreadful season, the merits of tanking, Zucker’s call-up, the beginnings of draft talk, and Anthony LaPanta making everyone angry were all really interesting topics that was worthy of discussion.

So, now that I’m back, we’re going to ramp up draft/free agency talk around here. So before we talk about the prospects we could get with the #7 pick, let’s take inventory of the prospects we already have. But first, let’s talk about the hot topic of the week, Granlund Watch.

It’s getting done. Granlund isn’t future Wild defenseman Justin Schultz. There’s nothing to be gained by this. He gets no money for re-entering the draft, and there’s not a desirable market he’d want to play in. Unless, of course, he wants to play in scenic Edmonton or Columbus.

So, for the first time since February, meet me after the jump. We’ll talk about some prospects.

Continue reading

Thoughts on the Erik Christensen Trade

Guess Who's Back?

I posted today. Don’t lie. You missed me. I missed you.

Let’s get back to business. Today Casey Wellman was traded to the New York Rangers for Erik Christensen and a conditional 7th round pick (Wild get the pick if Christensen leaves in free agency).

Casey Wellman might yet be a good player, but his time is running out, and his upside appears to be that of an AHL All-Star. Not an insult, by the way, as you have to be ridiculously good at hockey in order to become an All-Star at the AHL. But he hasn’t been consistent enough to merit Top-6 NHL duty, and isn’t enough of a grinder for the Bottom-6. And with the bullets the Wild have in their prospect gun, if Wellman was going to make himself expendable now, with so many injuries and none of the top forward prospects in the AHL level, he was always going to be expendable to the Wild. Continue reading