Category: Wild

Mikael Granlund signs deal with Wild

 The wait is finally over, Mikael Granlund will be wearing a Wild jersey next season. Today he signed a 3 year $2.7M entry level contract. The contract also includes a $90,000 annual signing bonus and additional performance bonuses. Granlund joins a large group of young newcomers to the Wild system including Charlie Coyle, Zack Phillips, Johan Larsson, Brett Bulmer, Jason Zucker, and Jonas Brodin.

 For those of you who don’t know much about Mikael Granlund, he is a 20 year old forward from Finland selected 9th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. He has played for IFK-Helinski in the Finnish Elite League Continue reading


Wild win 7th pick in NHL Draft lottery

 When the NHL Draft arrives on June 22-23 the Minnesota Wild will be picking 7th overall. They stayed in the same spot they had earned by having the 7th worst record in the NHL. Division rival, Edmonton, managed to get the 1st overall pick for the 3rd straight year. Fans recall that the Wild started the season screaming hot only to cool off like liquid nitrogen leading to them becoming sellers at the trade deadline. Still, the team has a lot of young prospects and will look to add another. Here is a quick look at the top 7 players available in the draft: Continue reading

Jason Zucker signs 3 year deal with Wild

Jason Zucker gave up his final two years of college eligibility at Denver to sign a 3 year contract with the Wild on Tuesday. He will play the final 6 games of the season with the Wild and make his NHL debut on Thursday against the Panthers, he will wear No. 16. The 20 year old Zucker (pronounced Zooker) is a 5-11 175 lb. forward drafted in the 2nd round (59th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. He scored 22 goals in each of his two years at Denver with point totals of 45 and 46 points. This year he will get 6 games of NHL experience and the fans will get to see what he has to offer. Next season he will be competing for a spot on the NHL squad but could start the year in Houston. This gives Wild fans a reason to watch the final 6 games in hopes Zucker can provide some entertainment and goal scoring for a team that has been lacking both this season.

Next season the Wild will have a major injection of young talent in their system. They have now signed 6 of their top prospects to contracts including Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin, Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips. The only prospect remaining is Mikael Granlund whom they cannot sign until after the World Championships in May, but they must sign by June 1st. After Granlund signs a contract he is a lock to make the NHL roster next season while the other 6 will be battling for positions on the roster. The ones who do not make the Wild roster will be assigned to Houston.

Minnesota Wild trade deadline summary

The Wild completed 4 trades in 2012 before the trade deadline passed on Monday Feb 27th. Their first trade came on February 3rd when they swapped centers with New York. The Wild sent underperforming center Wellman to the rangers for an elite shootout scoring center in Christensen. Their second trade came on February 24th, three days before the deadline, when they sent Zidlicky to the Devils. Zidlicky is an offensive minded defenseman but provided no goals for the Wild this season and did not seem to fit their new system. They received a haul for Zidlicky from the Devils including Foster, Veilleux, Palmieri, 2012 second-round pick and 2013 conditional pick. The reasoning behind this is they were able to clear Continue reading

The Wild have made their second trade of the day just before the 2:00 p.m. deadline. They have traded veteran defenseman Greg Zanon to the Boston Bruins for defenseman Steven Kampfer. The 23 year old Kampfer has spend most of this season in the AHL but has 5 goals and 7 assists in 48 games for the Bruins over two seasons. Like Gilbert he is a puck-moving defenseman. Zanon fell out of favor with the Wild this season and will be a free agent this offseason. With the Wild not wanting to re-sign Zanon they decided to trade him and get something back in return.

You can see all the trades by the Wild this season here.

On Monday the Wild made yet another trade before the deadline by sending defenseman Nick Schultz to the Oilers for defenseman Tom Gilbert. Schultz was the longest tenured Wild player and longest tenured Minnesota athlete for any of the major sports. The 29 year old Schultz made his NHL debut in 2001 and has  26 goals, 102 assists and a plus eight rating in 743 career games. Losing Schultz is a big loss for the Wild. He is arguable the most liked player in the locker room and the players have said he is what Wild hockey is all about. The Wild received 29 year old Tom Gilbert who is a Bloomington native that played college at the University of Wisconsin. He has 33 goals, 125 assists and a minus-29 rating in 384 games with the Oilers over 6 seasons. The Zidlicky trade helped clear cap space and gain assets for the Continue reading

Zidlicky’s days with the Wild were long numbered and now he has finally been traded. It was speculated that he would end up with New Jersey, which he did, but the hold up was always the compensation. According to the Pioneer Press the Wild will receive defenseman Kurtis Foster, forwards Stephane Veilleux and Nick Palmieri, a second-round pick this year and a conditional 3rd round pick in 2013 (which they receive if the Devils make the conference finals). Foster and Veilleux were previously with the Wild. Palmieri is said to be the key to the deal because he has the potential to be a top two-line winger and he is only 22 years old. Foster and Veilleux are free agents after this season so their return to the Wild could be short lived but expect Palmieri to be around for a while. The Wild also clears Zidlicky’s $4M contract for next season.