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Wild Prospect Report: Apr. 19

by Megan Kogut / Minnesota Wild
Iowa Wild 2014-15 Record: 23-49-2-2, 50 points, Fifth Place in West Division

The Iowa Wild, Minnesota Wild’s American Hockey League affiliate, closed out its 2014-15 season on Saturday. Rookie F Zack Mitchell was the sole Iowa player to skate in all 76 games. He ranked T-14th amongst AHL rookies with 17 goals and 24th in points while ranking second on the team in goals and fourth in scoring. F Tyler Graovac set career highs in goals, assists and points in his second pro season. He led the Wild in scoring, power-play goals (T-12th in AHL) and in shots. He posted a career-high six-game point streak, registering eight points (5-3=8) from Nov.12-23. D Jonathon Blum finished the season totaling a career-high 12 goals. He led all blue liners and ranked T-2nd overall on the team in points. He ranked T-4th amongst AHL defensemen with eight power-play goals and T-13th in scoring. Blum was also named the team’s IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the Des Moines community. F Kurtis Gabriel tallied 16 points (7-9=16) in his first pro season. He led the Wild and ranked fourth amongst AHL rookies with 125 penalty minutes. Iowa had six different goaltenders appear in at least one game this season: John Curry, David Desander, Johan Gustafsson, Josh Harding, Darcy Kuemper and Parker Milner. G John Curry went 13-23-2 with a 2.66 GAA, a .917 SV% and two shutouts in 41 contests this season. He ranked 13th amongst AHL goalies in saves, T-19th in SV% and 19th in minutes played. G Johan Gustasson went 8-22-1 with a 3.49 GAA and a .893 SV% in 35 games.


Canadian Hockey Leagues

C Reid Duke - Brandon (WHL):
The Wild's sixth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft returned to the lineup after missing five playoff contests (4/10). He owns an assist and four PIM in five games as the Wheat Kings will face Calgary in the WHL Eastern Conference Finals.

D Tanner Faith - Kootenay (WHL):
Minnesota's fifth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft missed most of the season due to an upper-body injury suffered in December.

D Dylan Labbe - Shawinigan (QMJHL):
The fourth-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft for Minnesota played three games with Iowa on an ATO. He recorded eight points (1-7=8) in seven playoff contests, ranking first in PIM (15) and second on the team in scoring and in assists as Shawinigan fell to Halifax, 4-3 in the first round and ranks third amongst QMJHL defensemen in playoff assists and scoring.

C Pavel Jenys - Sudbury (OHL): Minnesota's seventh-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft owned three assists, a plus-3 rating and 14 shots in eight games with Iowa. Jenys signed an ATO with Iowa March 24. He tallied 11 points (4-7=11) in the last 14 Wolves games. He led Sudbury in scoring, T-1st in assists and T-2nd in goals.

C Chase Lang - Calgary (WHL): The sixth-round pick for Minnesota in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has tallied seven points (4-3=7), a plus-7 rating and four PIM in nine playoff contests as Calgary advances to the Eastern Conference Finals of the WHL playoffs against Brandon. Lang ranked third on the Hitmen in goals and fourth in scoring. He set career-highs in goals, assists and points this season.

D Hunter Warner - Prince Albert (WHL): The defensemen signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Minnesota is out for remainder of season due to shoulder surgery. He earned his first point in the WHL with an assist at Moose Jaw (10/15).

College/USHL/High School

D Louis Belpedio - Miami University of Ohio (NCHC):
Minnesota's third-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft tallied an assist as Miami finished its season falling 7-5 to Providence in the first round of the NCAA (3/28) and recorded four points (2-2=4) and 10 shots in six games as Miami clinched the NCHC Championship (3/13-3/21).

D Nolan De Jong - Michigan (Big Ten): The Wild's seventh-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft saw Michigan ended its season falling to Minnesota 4-2 in the Big Ten Championship (3/21).

F Grayson Downing - University of New Hampshire (Hockey East): The forward signed two-year, entry-level contract with the Wild on March 24. He finished the season with Iowa on an ATO, registering four assists, four PIM and eight shots in five games.

D John Draeger - Michigan State (Big Ten): Minnesota's third-round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Michigan State closed out its season with a 4-1 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten semifinals (3/20).

C Adam Gilmour - Boston College (Hockey East):
The Wild's fourth-round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Boston College fell 5-2 to Denver in the first round of the NCAA tournament (3/28). During his sophomore season, he set career-highs in goals, assists and points. He ranked second on the Eagles in power-play goals (5) and in scoring and ranked T-2nd in assists.

LW Mario Lucia - Notre Dame (Hockey East): The second-round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft for Minnesota ranked second in the league and T-15th in the NCAA in goals while ranking first on the Irish in goals and third in points and recorded career-highs in goals and points during his third year at Notre Dame.

LW Louis Nanne - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC): Minnesota's seventh-round selection ranked T-2nd amongst team freshmen in assists and third in scoring and goals. He missed nine games this season with an upper-body injury (Nov. 18-Dec. 6; Dec. 30-Jan.3).

D Zach Palmquist - Minnesota State (WCHA):
The defenseman signed an entry-level contract with the Wild on March 30 and is playing with Iowa on a ATO for the remainder of the season, posting three assists, four PIM and seven shots in eight games. He served as an alternate captain and ranked T-4th on the Mavericks in scoring and third in assists during his senior season. He finished his four seasons at Minnesota State setting a record for consecutive games played with 160, didn’t miss a single game. Palmquist was named to the All-WCHA First Team and was a WCHA All-Academic selection.

C Avery Peterson - Nebraska Omaha (NCHC): The Wild's sixth-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft recorded two points (1-1=2) and two PIM in Omaha’s 4-1 win over Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament (3/28). THe ranked fourth on the team in goals and T-5th in scoring.

D Carson Soucy - Minnesota Duluth (NCHC): Minnesota's fifth-round selection in 2013 NHL Entry Draft tallied a goal, six shots and a plus-2 rating as Minnesota-Duluth closed out its season with a 3-2 loss against Boston University in the second round of the NCAA tournament (3/28). He ranked third amongst defensemen on the Bulldogs in scoring and second in goals.

RW Alex Tuch - Boston College (Hockey East): The Wild's first-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft ranked T-5th in the conference in freshmen scoring. He led the Eagles in scoring and second in goals. Tuch was named to the 2014-15 Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team (3/18) and was named Hockey East/Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week (2/16). He recorded two points (1-1=2) & 16 shots in five games for the U.S. during the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (12/26-1/2).

Europe

C Christoph Bertschy - SC Bern (Swiss):
Minnesota's sixth-round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft saw his team, SC Bern, be swept by HC Davos (4-0) in the second round of playoffs. He earned three points (1-2=3) in seven playoff contests with 14 shots on goal. Bertschy missed 10 games after suffering a lower-body injury (2/11). He ranked third on the team in shots (105) on goal, T-2nd in goals and fifth in points and has set career highs in goals, assists and points this season.

D Pontus Sjalin - Leksand J20 (Super Elit):
The Wild's sixth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft led team defensemen in scoring and ranked T-4th in assists. He played two games with Leksand of the SHL (10/28-10/30).

Goaltenders

Alexandre Belanger - Cape-Breton (QMJHL):
The Wild's seventh-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft played in six of Cape-Breton’s playoff matches (five starts), going 2-2-0 with a 3.91 GAA and a .896 SV% as the Screaming Eagles were eliminated by Quebec, 4-3 in the first round. He missed nine games with a concussion suffered on Feb. 27. He posted a 6-6-0 record with a 3.32 GAA and a .894 SV% in 13 games with the Screaming Eagles.

Brody Hoffman - University of Vermont (Hockey East):
The goaltender signed entry-level contract with the Wild on March 30. He finished his junior season with the Catamounts, ranking second in the league (18th in the NCAA) in GAA, third in winning percentage and seventh in save percentage. Hoffman was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week (3/16). He made 36 saves to earn his first shutout of the season against Boston College (3/15).

Kaapo Kahkonen - TUTO Turku (Mestis):
Minnesota's fourth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In 13 postseason games, he recorded a 1.95 GAA and a .934 SV% as TuTo fell to Hokki in the Bronze Medal Match (4/8). Led the league in games played and fourth in GAA and SV% amongst goalies with five playoff games played. He leads the league in games played and fourth in GAA and SV% amongst goalies with five playoff games played. He netted his second empty-net goal in an exhibition game with the national under-20 team (4/7). He scored first empty-net goal during TuTo’s 3-0 shutout win against KooKoo (3/28). Kahkonen led the league in games played, second in SV% and fourth in GAA during the regular season. He is on loan to TUTO from Blues (Liiga).

Steve Michalek - Harvard (ECAC): The Wild's sixth-round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft saw Harvard closed out its season with a 4-1 loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Nebraska-Omaha (3/28). He was named ECAC Goaltender of the Month for March (4/1). He ranked second in the conference in saves, T-5th in SV% and ninth in GAA and led Harvard to the ECAC Championship title, winning six of the seven playoff games. During his senior season, he set a single-season record for the Crimson with 1,029 saves and his 21 wins was the second-most in a season for a goalie in team history. He was honored with Eberly Award as Beanpot’s top goalie after setting a Harvard & Beanpot record for most saves in a single game with 63 (2/3). He was also named ECAC’s Goaltender of the Month for November & ECAC’s Co-Goaltender of the Week (11/25). He earned his first shutout of the season at Rensselaer (11/7), second at Dartmouth (11/18) & third vs. Princeton (2/28).
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