In my previous post, I listed the Wild’s number 10-6 prospects. Here are the Wild’s top 5 prospects, in my opinion.
#5. Zach Phillips ( Center 6′ 0″ 180 LBS 19 years old) Phillips was the Wild’s second first round pick in 2011. He is a gifted passer and playmaker. Phillips was an integral part of the Saint Johns Seas Dogs for the past three seasons. Phillips won the Memorial cup in 2011 with the Sea Dogs. He posted 80 points in 60 games last season. His one weakness is his skating. He has a lack of foot speed. But, If he can improve his skating, he has the size and talent to be a high-end second line center in the NHL.
#4 Jason Zucker ( Forward 5′ 11″ 180 LBS 20 years old) Zucker, is the fastest skater out of all the Wild prospects. He has blazing speed and a nice shot. He is also a very cerebral player on the ice. Zucker, was selected in the second round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Minnesota Wild. He was named the WCHA’s freshman player for the 2010/2011 season, while playing for the Denver Pioneers. Besides, Mikael Granlund, he is the most likely prospect to be playing for the Minnesota Wild this season.
#3 Jonas Brodin ( Defenseman 6’0″ 172 LBS 19 years old) Selected 10th overall by the Wild in the 2011 draft, Brodin is an elite skater. He is able to skate side to side and backwards just as fluidly as most players can skate forwards. He is a defensive defenseman who doesn’t put up big offensive numbers. But, he is more than capable of making the all important first pass out of the defensive zone. And I believe as he gets stronger, his shot will improve. At just 18 years of age, he made the Swedish World Championship team this summer. And by the end of the tournament, he was logging major minutes as a top four d-man for the Swedes.
#2 Charlie Coyle ( Forward 6’2″ 207 LBS 20 years old) Coyle absolutely obliterated the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league last Season. In just 23 regular season games for the Saint Johns Sea Dogs, Coyle recorded 15 goals and 23 assists. He followed with 15 goals and 19 assists in 17 QMJHL playoff games. And for that performance, he was named the QMJHL Playoff MVP. Coyle, is a power forward with great hands. And he will be a beast at the NHL Level. As he is only going to get stronger and more physical as he matures. He is definitely a potential 30-40 goal scorer at the NHL level.
#1 Mikael Granlund ( Center 5’9 170 LBS 20 years old) This 20-year-old Finn was the Wild’s first round pick in the 2010 NHL draft. Wild fans have been anxiously awaiting his arrival for the past two seasons. He was the best player playing outside of the NHL last year. And I believe he is the best prospect in the National Hockey League. He possesses unbelievable hands and playmaking ability. Couple those assets, with his phenomenal vision of the ice, and you have a potential superstar in the making. He averaged a point per game over three seasons in the SM-Liga, while playing against grown men. This is a league that is known for its tight checking, defensive style of play. Granlund, was the rookie of the year in 2010. And he led his team to the 2011 championship. He will undoubtedly be playing for the Wild this season. And he is great bet to win the Calder Trophy.
As you can see, the Wild has a great group of high-end prospects. With these players coming up, and the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the future is very bright for the Minnesota Wild franchise.