Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 Top 10 Wild Prospects: 7-5

7. Matt Dumba-Defenseman Red Deer (CHL). Previous Rank: NR
Matt Dumba, was the 7th overall pick in the 2012 draft by Minnesota. He is not overly big (6'0", 182 lbs), but is very mobile, and is a very good offensive defenseman. Prior to being drafted, Dumba scored 20 goals and added 37 assists in 69 games for Red Deer. And in 42 games this year, Dumba has scored 10 goals and 13 assists. He is set to partake in the Wild's training camp beginning on Sunday, and could get a cup of coffee with the big club before being sent back to Red Deer. Dumba will have to do a lot in the camp to just get that cup of coffee, but he does possess better offensive skills than most d-men on the Wild roster. Dumba is only 18, so there is no rush by the Wild to get him up with the big club. Look for him to play a full season with the team in a few years.

6. Matt Hackett-Goaltender Houston (AHL). Previous Rank: 6
If not for the great talent above him on this list, Hackett would come in higher. But, for the second year in a row, he will settle for #6. Hackett enters his 3rd full season with the Aeros, and as you may recall, has seen sometime with the Wild while either Niklas Backstrom or Josh Harding has dealt with injury. He started his NHL career by shutting out the opposition for 102:48, which is now an NHL record. This year, Hackett has played in 28 games for Houston and has a record of 13-11-0-3 with a 2.63 GAA and a .904 save percentage. With the expiring contract of Niklas Backstrom, its possible Hackett could be with the Wild full time starting next season. But it all depends on if Backstrom wants to return to the Wild for another year or two. If he does leave, a tandem of Hackett/Harding should do just fine.

5. Johan Larsson-Forward Houston (AHL). Previous Rank: 8
Admittedly, Larsson was ranked far too low on this blog last year. But after further study on him, he is up where he belongs now. Larsson, like many others on this list, is in his first year with Houston, after coming over from Brynas of the Swedish Elite League. He is turning into a tremendous two way forward, after honing up his offensive skills over the past few years. So far this year with Houston, Larsson has scored 9 goals and 11 assists in 35 games played. With the depth of forwards the Wild has this year, its unlikely we see Larsson up in the NHL this year. So look for him to get his chance next year to make the team.

Minnesota Wild 2012-13 Top 10 Prospects List
10. Mario Lucia
9. Brett Bulmer
8. Zack Phillips
7.Matt Dumba
6.Matt Hackett
5.Johan Larsson

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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