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Undrafted college grads stick together to keep NHL dreams alive

WCHA veterans Knutson, McLain, Fitzgerald, Auk doing what they can to overcome odds, extend hockey careers

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- For most hockey players, the routine of a typical offseason is incredibly predictable.

Most NHL guys wrap up their seasons in April or May, then take a few weeks off before slowly working their way back into shape. First, it's time in the gym. Then it's back on the ice. By the time September rolls around and training camps are on the horizon, they're back in pristine shape and ready to go.

The timeline is much the same for college or junior players. Seasons end and offseasons begin; weight room, on-ice, maybe a few summer classes at school and a return to normalcy come September. 

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For new aide Evason, Wild transition is ongoing

New assistant coach was hired June 6 after six seasons as head coach of Nashville's top farm team

by Jessi Pierce / Special to Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Wild assistant coach Dean Evason had his plate full during the weeklong development camp at Xcel Energy Center, and very little of that had to do with the Xs and Os associated with watching and coaching Wild prospects.

"We haven't really settled in yet," admitted Evason, who's in the process of making the nearly five-hour move from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities area. "We haven't quite found a place to live. My wife's coming to look. We've been [to Minnesota] a couple of times for meetings, but haven't really had that opportunity to find a home."

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Bombardir, Fenton thrilled as development camp concludes

McBain, Bouramman honored with awards as new GM's first camp with club wraps up Sunday

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Development camp is a labor of love for many, but perhaps no more than for the Wild's director of player development, Brad Bombardir.

Weeks and months of planning go into the week-long event in downtown St. Paul, and with another camp in the books following the final scrimmage of the week Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild's front office members will now go about evaluating exactly what they saw.

"The kids this week, they worked," Bombardir said. "Once in a while, you have a few guys you have to kind of kick a little bit to get going, but they all worked this week. They all got along, they all had fun."

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Lodnia aims for crack at Wild's NHL roster this fall

Third-round pick in 2017 draft made pro debut in Iowa late last season

by Jessi Pierce / Special to Wild.com

Video: Ivan Lodnia continues to make strides

ST. PAUL -- Ivan Lodnia sent a congratulatory text to his 2017 development camp roommate, Luke Kunin, after each of his two NHL goals with the Wild last season. Watching Kunin get a crack at the NHL for 19 games before an ACL injury derailed his season was inspiring to Lodnia.

Now Lodnia, a third-round selection by Minnesota (85th overall) in last summer's NHL Entry Draft, hopes it's his turn to be on the receiving end of that text soon.

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Shepard making more memories on Xcel Energy Center ice

Goaltender led Minnesota Duluth to national championship here back in April

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Defenseman Mark Auk was retreating into his own zone during Thursday's Green-White scrimmage at Wild development camp when suddenly he heard someone shouting at him.

The voice was almost part coach, part drill instructor.

Bellowing out information was none other than his goaltender, Hunter Shepard of the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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Call of a lifetime: Giroux's Wild ties date back to early childhood

Recent draft pick grew up 5 minutes away from assistant GM Brunette

by Phil Ervin / Wild.com

Video: Get to know Damien Giroux

ST. PAUL -- Even today, Damien Giroux can't wipe the grin off his face as he recounts the day he was drafted.

Some prospects travel to the NHL Entry Draft's host city in hopes of hearing their name called in person. Others stay at home, glued to the television or their smartphone.

But Giroux, one of the Wild's fifth-round picks in this year's draft, was at the golf course Saturday, June 23.

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Overcoming devastating injury only the start for Wild's Shaw

Torn ACL in Traverse City shortened forward's season last year, but didn't ruin it entirely

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- In an instant, Mason Shaw's hockey career took an unexpected -- and unfortunate -- turn for the worst.

After a dream summer, one in which he was drafted, participated in his first NHL development camp (where he was awarded the Hardest Worker On and Off the Ice award) and the IIHF World Junior Summer Showcase, Shaw put the Wild jersey on for the first time at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.

Playing on a team featuring first-round picks Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin, Shaw might have been Minnesota's best overall player in the first game of the tournament.

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Wild's Johanssons share surname, common goal at development camp

Swedish defensemen were each drafted by Minnesota last month

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Rest assured, Filip and Simon Johansson are most definitely not related.

Both are Swedish defensemen selected by the Wild at the 2018 NHL Draft. Both are visiting Minnesota for the first time this week as the team holds its development camp at Xcel Energy Center. Both have happy-go-lucky personalities that will make them popular teammates in the future.

But until a few days ago, when both flew in from Sweden, the two had never met each other. They had only played against one another back at home, but had not shared as much as a "hello" until their arrival at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday.

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Wild to host development camp July 10-15

Total of 43 players, including draft picks, free agents and invitees are expected to attend

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club will hold a development camp for team prospects July 10-15 at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild coaches and staff members will lead the on-ice sessions. Players will participate in daily skating, strength and conditioning sessions, as well as off-ice topics including sports psychology, social media training and nutrition education.

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Kon Made Most of Wild Experience

In the U.S. for the first time, camp invitee discovers hockey has no language barrier

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Development camp can be an imposing challenge even for the most decorated of hockey players.

It's not easy to leave the comforts of a college campus or junior rink and put one's skills on display in front of a new group of coaches and executives, not to mention a collection of players that are often considered some of the best on their respective teams.

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