Monday, March 5, 2012

The Team of 18,001's Top 10 Wild Prospects: 3-1

3. Charlie Coyle-Forward St. John's (QMJHL). Coyle was a key piece to the Brent Burns trade in last year's draft. He was selected 28th overall in the 2010 Draft by the Sharks, before being shipped to Minnesota the following season. Coyle is known as a power forward, and up until early this year he had been playing for Boston University. But Coyle decided to leave and join other Wild prospect Zack Phillips in St. John's. Since then, he has taken off. In 18 games with the Sea Dogs, Coyle has registered 12 goals and 17 assists and is a +19. Coyle just signed a three year entry level contract on March 1st, and will be playing for Houston next season, and possibly could play for Houston this year if the Aeros get far enough in the Calder Cup playoffs.

2. Zack Phillips-Center St. John's (QMJHL). Phillips was drafted by the Wild with the 28th overall pick in last year's draft (The pick was acquired from San Jose in the Burns trade). Phillips has been the Sea Dogs best scorer the past two years registering 95 (38 G-57A) and 77 (29 G-48 A) points respectively (He still has 11 games left this year so don't see that as a down year). Phillips is not the greatest at faceoffs (49% on faceoffs in 2011-12), but it is something that he has improved upon from last year (43% in 2010-11). Phillips signed a three year entry level deal in December, and like Coyle, should be playing in Houston next season.

1. Mikael Granlund-Center HIFK (SM-Liiga). This is a no brainer. Granlund was the Wild's first pick (9th overall) in the 2010 draft. Currently this year, he is 3rd in SM-Liiga in points with 53 (20 goals, 33 assists). He is doing things in that league Wild captain Mikko Koivu never did (Koivu never scored more than 30 points in a season in that league). Granlund has been big for the Finnish teams in the World Juniors, as he finished 2nd in scoring in the 2012 tournament (2 goals-9 assists in 7 games). He also has the ability to score some pretty spectacular goals. Granlund is not signed to a contract yet, but it will be one of Chuck Fletcher's higher priorities this offseason. Its almost a guarantee Granlund will be playing hockey in the U.S. next year. Question is, will he be playing for Houston or Minnesota?

10. Darcy Kuemper
9. Brett Bulmer
8. Johan Larsson
7. Mario Lucia
6. Matt Hackett
5. Jason Zucker
4. Jonas Brodin
3. Charlie Coyle
2. Zack Phillips
1. Mikael Granlund

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