The following is the Houston Aeros’ AHL roster for the 2012/13 season. The Aeros are the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate.
Mikael Granlund,Charlie Coyle, Kris Foucalt, Jason Zucker, Brett Bulmer, Jarrod Palmer, Chad Rau, Johan Larsson, David McIntyre, Carson McMillan, Justin Fontaine, Nick Palmieri, Zach Phillips, Joel Broda,
Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin, Drew Bagnall, Tyler Cuma, Kris Friedheim, Brian Connelly, Steven Kampfer, Chay Genoway.
Matt Hackett, Darcy Kuemper.
This has to be the best roster the Houston Aeros have ever fielded. Thanks to the NHL lockout, the Wild’s top 5 prospects: Granlund, Coyle, Brodin, Zucker and Phillips will all be in the Aeros’ opening night line-up. Also included in the opening night line-up; Johan Larsson, and Brett Bulmer. Both of whom, are considered future NHL players.
Rounding out the roster is, Marco Scandella, a top-four defenseman for the Wild last season. And goalie Matt Hackett, who projects to be the Minnesota Wild’s starting goaltender in two years time.
The Aeros’ top line of Zucker-Granlund-Coyle might be the best line in the entire AHL this season. Granlund is considered to be the top European prospect in the game. And was on his way to suiting up for the Minnesota Wild this season, before the NHL lockout ruined that plan. Recently, he recorded a four goal, one assist game against the OKC Barons.
Meanwhile, his line-mate, Charlie Coyle, scored two goals in the same pre-season game. Coyle is a top 25 NHL prospect, in his own right. And is coming off a season, in which, he was named the QMJHL playoff MVP.
With future NHL players Johan Larsson, Zach Phillips and Brett Bulmer providing scoring depth on the second and third lines, the Houston Aeros have the potential to be a potent, high-scoring offense.
Defensively, Houston will be led by Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin. Brodin is the Wild’s top defensive prospect. And he was expected to compete for a roster spot with the Wild this season. Instead, he will be making his North American professional debut for Houston. Brodin is coming off a summer, in which, he had a strong showing for Sweden in the World Championships as an 18-year old.
Scandella, blossomed into a solid NHL defenseman last season with the Wild. He needs to use his NHL experience to provide leadership and know-how to this young Aeros team, while continuing to improve and develop his own game.
The Aeros’ will be strong between the pipes this season. Starting goalie, Matt Hackett, is a future number one goalie in the NHL. And he has posted solid numbers, in-goal, for the Aeros the previous two seasons. Darcy Kuemper, his backup, was the 2010/11 WHL goalie of the year. Winning, the Del Wilson trophy for the Red Deer Rebels that season.
All in all, this should be a very good Aeros team. One that should make the AHL playoffs easily. Especially, if the NHL lockout drags on. There are 9-10 players on the Aeros’ roster who are considered to be future mainstays on the Minnesota Wild’s roster.
If you are a Minnesota Wild fan, keep tabs on this team. These players are the future of the organization. And it is a very bright future. Something, that these players hope to prove in Houston this season.
Plus, the Aeros should be entertaining to watch or listen to. Because they will have a ton of speed, play-making and athleticism. And sadly, the Aeros on TV or radio may be the closest thing to the Wild that we get this season.