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31 in 31

Top prospects for Minnesota Wild

Sturm expected to vie for roster spot; Boldy set to attend Boston College

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the top five prospects for the Minnesota Wild, according to NHL.com.

 

[Wild 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Behind the Numbers | Fantasy breakdown]

 

1. Nico Sturm, F

How acquired: Signed as free agent April 1, 2019

Last season: Clarkson University (NCAA): 39 GP, 14-31-45; Minnesota: 2 GP, 0-0-0

Sturm (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) is expected to be considered for a spot on the Wild out of training camp.

The 24-year-old signed a one-year, entry-level contract after three seasons at Clarkson, where as captain he led it in scoring last season.

"[Sturm] is a guy I think can be in the mix on the third or fourth line," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He was able to get a taste of [professional hockey] last season toward the end there, but I think if he comes in and has a really strong camp, there's no reason he can't be a part of the team to start the year."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: Nico Sturm takes solo lap

 

2. Matthew Boldy, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 12 pick in 2019 NHL Draft 

Last season: USA U-18 (NTDP): 64 GP, 33-48-81 

Boldy (6-2, 196) was fourth in scoring for the NTDP, which had seven other players chosen in the first round of the 2019 draft. The 18-year-old will attend Boston College this season. 

"It's really something to see," Wild director of player development Brad Bombardir said of Boldy's skill. "Plus he has a vision on the ice where he can see the first pass. And creativity, that's another thing. Really, he's got it all. ... There's a reason we drafted him in the first round. We're all obviously really excited to have him here."

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23

 

3. Kirill Kaprizov, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 135 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: CSKA Moscow (KHL): 57 GP, 30-21-51

Kaprizov (5-9, 185) is an elite scorer with speed, vision and creativity, and said he will leave the Kontinental Hockey League after this season. The 22-year-old was 11th in the KHL in scoring last season.

"After leading the KHL in both goals and game-winning goals last season, Kaprizov has a tremendous ability to score goals to go along with his elite hockey sense and strong playmaking skills," Bombardir said.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

4. Connor Dewar, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 92 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Everett (WHL): 59 GP, 36-45-81

Dewar (5-10, 177) will make his professional hockey debut with Iowa of the American Hockey League this season. 

"[Dewar] understands the game, especially away from the puck," Bombardir said of the 20-year-old. "So for me, his game is quite mature already away from the puck, and that sometimes is the hardest thing to learn away from the pros, just being reliable away from the puck and making the reads. So he's got a step up on some guys coming in, and that's always a good thing, a good strength to have. And he can shoot, he can skate, he's got a nose for around the net, he's always around the net and getting scoring chances, so he'll be a fun one to watch."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

5. Carson Soucy, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 137 pick in 2013 NHL Draft

Last season: Iowa (AHL): 66 GP, 5-15-20

Soucy (6-5, 211) signed a one-year, two-way contract with Minnesota on July 16. He played three NHL games in 2017-18 because of injuries to defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter. The 25-year-old likely would get called up as an injury replacement this season.

"I like his game a lot," Bombardir said. "He's got good size and good hands for a guy his size. He's spent some good time in the AHL, and I think he's really starting to round out his offensive game to become that full 200-foot player." 

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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