Those moves certainly helped the present and short-term future of the Wild, who won a Stanley Cup Playoff series last spring for the first time in 11 years. However, it also helped in a long-term way because it meant that instead of needing to force younger players into key roles, the Wild could add them as complementary parts or leave them to develop longer at lower levels.
"We have a deeper group," Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr told NHL.com. "We're not forced to put in guys. We can let them can earn it, and when they're ready their play will dictate when they can get on the team. That's obviously a much healthier way to do business in the NHL. The NHL is a tough jump for any young person; to get the confidence playing pro hockey at the American league level first is the best way to do it."
Here's a look at the Wild's top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com: