This year's Prospects Guide examines the top prospects in the NHL. What you can expect in the Prospects Guide is player profiles, projections, potential upside, current player comparisons and estimated time of arrival to the NHL. Also, you will get the Top 20 Prospects for the next four upcoming NHL Entry Drafts!
In order to qualify as a prospect for the guide the player must be under the age of 24 and have played less then 25 NHL regular season games. The guide will be 70+ pages and give readers insight into each NHL team's prospect with a fantasy perspective.
Going more in-depth, the guide will also include a comprehensive list of the Top-250 prospects, organizational rankings, top goalies and future goaltenders, as well as detailed and comprehensive 'Team Prospect Reports'.
In recent days the Minnesota Wild have made waves by signing two big-name free agents (read the full recap here), Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. With the current situation solidified in Minnesota, what future waits in their farm system, and which potential young stars could be joining the big boys come this season? Join us as we get a sneak peek into the Prospect Guide with this full comprehensive 'Team Prospect Report' on the Minnesota Wild, brought to you by Fantasy Hockey Coach.
THE MINNESOTA WILD TEAM PROSPECT REPORT
Chuck Fletcher has done an admirable job in compiling a much better collection of prospects through the draft and trades. With another top pick in this years draft (7th overall). Going into last season Fletcher was able to call up Spurgeon and Scandella to bolster his depleted defense but that was about it. He then added, as part of the trade with San Jose for Brent Burns, Charlie Coyle and the 28th overall pick in the 2011 draft used to select Zack Phillips. This years training camp will see a number of budding prospects vying for spots on the team, and it is expected that Granlund, Coyle and Larsson will be the favorites to crack the lineup. Prospects that have recently graduated to the NHL are Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon and Justin Falk.
1. C - Mikael Granlund (Finland) HIFK, 5’10”, 180, 20 years old
The ninth overall pick in 2010, Granlund has tremendous offensive skills. Besides his lacrosse style goal in last year’s world championships, he also scored from behind the net, was commemorated on a Finnish stamp, and accounted for nine points in nine games. Granlund finished second in scoring on the Finish team last year. This year, he was used in a different role but still managed 1 goal and 4 assists in five games. Only Mikko Koivu, Jussi Jokinen and Valtteri Fillipula had more points. Creating offense is second nature for Granlund, as he netted 20 goals and 31 assists in 45 games with a plus 20. To put that in perspective at the same age Mikko Koivu scored seven points in 48 games on the same team in Finland. Granlund is small and not the fastest skater but has great hockey smarts and great skills handling the puck. He missed two months early in the season with a concussion. Granlund has signed his entry level contract with and will be in the NHL this coming season. He could give the Wild a bona-fide Rookie of the Year candidate.
Projection: Franchise Forward
Potential Upside: 75 to 90 points
2. RW - Charlie Coyle – USA - Saint John Sea Dogs, 6’ 2”, 205, 20 years old
Minnesota acquired Coyle as part of the Brent Burns deal. He was a late first round pick of San Jose in 2010 (1/28). He played for Boston University in the 2010/11 season and acquitted himself well as a
freshman with seven goals and 19 assists in 37 games. He started the season with Boston University and in 16 games had three goals and 11 assists before deciding to leave college and join the Saint John Sea Dogs. In 23 games with the Sea Dogs in the remainder of the regular seasons 23 games Coyle had 15 goals and 23 assists to go along with a plus 23. Coyle stepped right into action with the Sea Dogs and became a dominate player right away. In the Sea Dogs playoff run he stepped those numbers up with 15 goals and 19 assists in the 17 playoff games. That is a 2.0 points per game stat that is very impressive. In the memorial cup Charlie Coyle’s play was less impressive and the Sea Dogs failed to make it to the finals. Coyle had four assists in the four games they played. Nevertheless Coyle is a very impressive prospect for the wild. He brings size and strength, excellent skills and soft hands, speed and hockey smarts. Coyle is a complete player and is NHL ready.
Projection: Solid Top Six Forward
Potential Upside: 70 to 80 points
3. LW – Johan Larsson - Sweden – Brynas IF Gavel, 5’ 11”, 198, 20 years old
Drafted in the second round, 56th overall in 2010, Larsson is a solid two way player that was seen as a defensive player with solid leadership skills, initially he was not seen as a big offensive player. That is now changed as Larsson continues to score at an impressive clip. He was third in scoring on his team this year behind Jacob Silverberg (54) and Calle Jarnkrok (39). Larsson had 36 points (12 goals) with Brynas this year. In the 2011 under 18 Larsson had six goals and 14 points in five games an was the team captain. He led team Sweden with six assists in the 2011/12 world junior tournament and is known as a solid two way player and an excellent play-maker. Larsson is not a flashy offensive player but rather a very hard working player that just seems to make things happen. Minnesota is very high on his potential and he will get a good look in the preseason and may make the team out of training camp but likely starts in the AHL this year but will get called up during the season if he develops as is expected.
Potential: Second Third Line, Defensive Winger
Potential Upside: 30 to 45 points
ETA: some point during 2012/13
4. G. - Matt Hackett – Can – Houston (AHL) 6’2” 170, 22 years old
Hackett was a third round pick by the wild 77th overall in the 2009 draft. He has been honing his skills in the AHL with 89 games over the last two seasons. He sports a career .917 save percentage in the AHL. Hackett has a 2.38 GAA and .922 Sv% in 12 games this season. Hackett did not look out of place in those call-up games. He is a very athletic skilled goalie with fast responses, good positional goalie that plays a butterfly style. It is probable that because of Hackett’s development that Chuck Fletcher will likely let Josh Harding walk as a free agent leaving the door open for Hackett to be the backup to Backstrom next season.
Potential: Backup Goalie
Potential Upside: 35 Wins
ETA: Some point during 2012/13 (If Josh Harding is with another NHL franchise)
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The content in this article and the Prospect Draft Guide was written by: Aaron Brouwer, Dave Dickenson, Yas Guthe, Brian Harling, Peter Harling, Frank Ivancic, Brandon Landry, Matthew Perry, and Taylor Rocca. Thank you for your time and effort!