***Note that A.J. Thelen will be at the Wild’s training camp beginning on Friday. He was mistakenly left off of the original training camp roster shown below***
| Head Coach Jacques Lemaire and General Manager Doug Risebrough will be looking at 45 talented players at this year’s training camp. |
Last year, each and every player that skated for the Wild at the 2005 NHL Centre I.C.E. Prospects were invited to training camp for the big club. What a difference a year makes.
With very few jobs available this year, the Wild will have its smallest number of players take the ice on Friday, the first day of training camp. The team has 45 players on its training camp roster, but three will not participate because of injuries including Clayton Stoner (shoulder seperation), Matt Foy (hernia surgery) and Riley Emmerson (back spasms). Foy and Emmerson are expected to return before the end of the preseason.
The Wild assigned 11 players to their junior teams, or to the Houston Aeros training camp. Kyle Bailey, Matt Kassian, Morten Madsen, Julian Walker and Kristofer Westblom will return to their Canadian junior teams, or in Walker’s case, to EHC Basel in Switzerland.
Ryan Hamilton, Miroslav Kopriva, Chris Ovington, Mark Rooneem, John Scott and Ryan Stokes will head directly to Houston.
Head coach Jacques Lemaire said on Wednesday that the nearly-solidified roster, in addition to a short preseason, will cause him to conduct training camp a bit differently this season.
"We are going to be putting all of the NHL guys together at camp," he said in reference to the players most likely to be battling for a spot on the big club this season. "They will play against each other and the competition will be stronger. I feel that they’ll get in shape quicker. The young guys in junior and college will play against each other."
The Wild will have only four days of practice before the first preseason game against Detroit on September 19. The number of preseason games has also been reduced from eight a year ago, to six this year.
"I don’t have a problem with it," said Lemaire. "Having six new players, it will do a lot to get them in games. There’s no doubt some guys will worry a little bit about their jobs and they’ll push to keep it, which is great."
The only head coach in Wild history is undoubtedly going to be coaching Minnesota’s most talented team ever, at least on paper. The excitement of coaching this year’s team was apparent in Lemaire’s sunny disposition.
"It’s very exciting, there’s no doubt," he said with a smile. "We’ll have more experience and better players. Now, it’s a matter of getting them to play for the team first and I feel it’s going to be a great season for that."
When asked what need the Wild fulfilled this offseason made Lemaire happiest, he didn’t say the addition of a proven power forward or a skilled puck-carrying defenseman.
"Experience," he said. "We’ve got some young kids that are growing and having guys that have been in the League for eight or nine years...I think it’s great for them. In the past, we lost a lot of games by a goal, or at the end of the third. I think a lot of that was because we lacked experience. Maybe with the guys we got, we’ll solve those problems."
The Wild will take the ice and begin drills and scrimmaging on Friday at 10:30. Stay tuned to Wild.com for updates and features.
2006-07 Wild Training Camp Roster Presented by Wells Fargo
| Left Wings (9) || 05-06 Team || League || ACQ |
| Derek Boogaard || Minnesota || NHL || EN/02 |
| Pascal Dupuis || Minnesota || NHL || FA/00 |
| Riley Emmerson ||Tri-City || WHL || EN/05 |
| Danny Irmen || Minnesota ||WCHA ||EN/03 |
| Peter Olvecky ||Houston ||AHL ||EN/04 |
| Benoit Pouliot || Sudbury || OHL ||EN/05 |
| Brian Rolston || Minnesota || NHL || FA/04 |
| Stephane Veilleux || Minnesota || NHL || EN/01 |
| Roman Voloshenko || Houston ||AHL ||EN/04 |
| Centers (8) || || || |
| Pavol Demitra || Los Angeles || NHL || TRD/06 |
| Mikko Koivu || Minnesota || NHL || EN/01 |
| Bryan Lundbohm || Houston || AHL ||Tryout |
| Jason Morgan || Norfolk || AHL || FA/06 |
| James Sheppard ||Cape Breton ||QMJHL ||EN/06 |
| Wyatt Smith || NY Islanders || NHL || FA/06 |
| Wes Walz || Minnesota || NHL || FA/00 |
| Todd White || Minnesota || NHL || TRD/05 |
| Right Wings (10) || || || |
| Pierre-Marc Bouchard || Minnesota || NHL || EN/02 |
| Cal Clutterbuck ||Oshawa || OHL || EN/06 |
| Matt Foy || Houston || AHL || EN/02 |
| Marian Gaborik || Minnesota || NHL || EN/00 |
| Mark Parrish || NYI/LA || NHL || FA/06 |
| Branko Radivojevic || Philadelphia || NHL || FA/06 |
| Joey Tetarenko || Houston || AHL ||Tryout |
| Ben Thomson || U. of Alberta || CIS || Tryout |
| Joel Ward || Houston || AHL ||Tryout |
| Mattias Weinhandl || NYI/MIN || NHL || WAV/06 |
| Defensemen (14) || || || |
| Paul Albers ||Vancouver ||WHL ||FA/06 |
| Shawn Belle ||Houston ||AHL ||TRD/06 |
| Brent Burns || Minnesota || NHL || EN/03 |
| Keith Carney || ANA/VAN || NHL || FA/06 |
| Kurtis Foster || Minnesota || NHL || FA/05 |
| Kim Johnsson || Philadelphia || NHL || FA/06 |
| Mike Madill || St. Lawrence || ECAC || FA/06 |
| Petteri Nummelin || HC Lugano || Swiss || TRD/06 |
| Peter Ratchuk || Mannheim || German || FA/06 |
| Erik Reitz || Houston || AHL || EN/00 |
| Nick Schultz || Minnesota || NHL || EN/00 |
| Martin Skoula || DAL/MIN || NHL || TRD/06 |
| Clayton Stoner || Houston || AHL || EN/04 |
| Ryan Stokes || Houston || AHL || FA/04 |
| A.J. Thelen ||Prince Albert ||WHL || EN/03 |
| Goaltenders (4) || || || |
| Niklas Backstrom || Karpat Oulu || Finland || FA/06 |
| Manny Fernandez || Minnesota || NHL || TRD/00 |
| Josh Harding || Houston || AHL || EN/02 |
| Tony Quesada ||Holy Cross || AHL ||Tryout |