Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Top prospects for Minnesota Wild

1. Jordan Greenway, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 50 pick in 2015 NHL Draft
Last season: Minnesota: 6 GP, 0-1-1; Boston University (NCAA): 36 GP, 13-22-35
Greenway, 21, signed a three-year entry-level contract March 26 after a strong college season and scoring one goal in five games for the United States at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Greenway averaged 11:27 of ice time for the Wild in the regular season and went up to 14:12 in five games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had two points (one goal, one assist) and was the only Minnesota forward to finish with a positive rating (plus-2) in the postseason.
"He exceeded our expectations coming in that point in the season with his size (6-foot-6, 226 pounds) and his ability to play a power game," senior vice president of hockey operations Brent Flahr said. "For him, adjusting to the pace of the NHL, he got better and better every game, played with more and more confidence. We expect big things."
Projected NHL arrival: This season
2. Luke Kunin, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 15 pick in 2016 NHL Draft
Last season: Minnesota: 19 GP, 2-2-4; Iowa (AHL): 36 GP, 10-9-19
Kunin, 20, began last season with the Wild and after a solid stint with Iowa of the American Hockey League was recalled Feb. 27. But he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee March 4 and was expected to need seven months to recover from surgery.
Flahr said the Wild will ease in Kunin (6-foot, 193) during training camp and could use him on the wing or at center.
"He's comfortable at both," Flahr said. "With [Joel] Eriksson Ek and him, realistically I see him on the wing to start, but we'll see what happens. He's good on face-offs, he can kill penalties, he's a versatile player and the coaches like that about him."
Projected NHL arrival: This season
3. Kirill Kaprizov, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 135 pick in 2015 NHL Draft
Last season: CSKA (KHL): 46 GP, 15-25-40
Kaprizov, 21, tied for the CSKA scoring lead last season, his third in the Kontinental Hockey League. He led Russia with six goals in eight games at the 2018 IIHF World Championship and won the gold medal with Olympic Athletes of Russia at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
Kaprizov (5-foot-9, 185) is signed in the KHL through the 2019-20 season.
"He's playing a great level of hockey," Flahr said. "He's played in the Olympics, he's played in the World Championship, he's got a big role with CSKA. We think he'd be able to come in and have an impact now. Playing lots and playing an extra year or two [in the KHL] isn't going to hurt him. He's still going to be a young guy when he comes over. He'll be ready to step in our lineup when he comes. He'll be a huge asset for us."
Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21
4. Dmitry Sokolov, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 196 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Sudbury/Barrie (OHL): 64 GP, 50-46-96
Sokolov (6-foot, 210) took off after a trade to Barrie on Jan. 10, with 58 points (30 goals, 28 assists) in his final 29 games. His 50 goals tied for the Ontario Hockey League lead.
The 20-year-old will start the season with Iowa, where the Wild hope he can improve his conditioning and his play away from the puck.
"He's still got some things to learn," Flahr said. "But he's going to get big playing time in the [AHL]. Hopefully he comes into camp and has a good showing for himself and puts himself on the [NHL] radar."
NHL arrival: Next season
5. Ivan Lodnia, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 85 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Erie (OHL): 62 GP, 22-37-59; Iowa (AHL): 6 GP, 0-0-0
Lodnia (5-foot-11, 183) can play on the wing or at center, which he did for part of last season with Erie. But the path to the NHL for the 18-year-old will be on the wing.
"Learning to play center is great," Flahr said. "It forces him to work on different parts of his game in the defensive zone, have the puck more, more skating. It was a good learning experience for him."
NHL arrival: 2020-21

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