Before we look ahead to the Minnesota Wild's 2011 Development Camp, let's take a quick look back at what last year's prospects accomplished:Sep. 15 -
Led by coach Mike Yeo, Wild prospects rally for a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in the championship game of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. The victory capped a perfect 4-0-0 record for the Wild in the tourney.Mar. 10 -
2010 second-round draft pick Jason Zucker
is named the WCHA's Freshman of the Year after posting 20 goals and 16 assists in 28 regular season games. Zucker finished the season with 23 goals and 22 assists in 40 games for Denver, which came within one game of the Frozen Four.May 13 -
2010 first-round draft pick Mikael Granlund
scores one of the most spectacular goals
in World Championship history as Finland beats Russia in the World Championship semis, and then wins a gold medal two days later.June 6 -
The Houston Aeros fall to Binghamton in Game 6 of the Calder Cup Finals. The Aeros finish the season with the AHL Western Conference championship and a regular season mark of 46-28-1-5.June 24 -
After selecting D Jonas Brodin
with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Wild swings a deal
that lands Devin Setoguchi
, 2010 first round pick Charlie Coyle
and the 28th overall pick in 2011, which turns into C Zack Phillips
. In one day, the deal and picks give the Wild the equivalent of four first rounders (Setoguchi was the eighth overall pick in 2005).
What will the Wild prospects do for an encore?
On July 12, they'll begin preparations for another successful year when the 2011 Wild Development Camp kicks off at Xcel Energy Center. This year's camp will be bustling with highly touted prospects including every player that was taken in the first or second rounds over the past two years. The biggest name in that group is Granlund, who will be skating on the Xcel Energy Center ice for the first time. The 2011 Wild Development Camp will run July 12-17 and will feature two scrimmages that are open to the public and free of charge on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 at Xcel Energy Center. Both scrimmages will start at 11 a.m. Gate One will open at 10:30 a.m. both days. The first 1,000 fans Saturday will receive a complimentary Wild Devin Setoguchi t-shirt and all fans can register to win a Devin Setoguchi autographed jersey. The first 1,000 fans at Sunday's scrimmage will receive a complimentary Wild Dany Heatley t-shirt and all fans can register to win a Dany Heatley autographed jersey.
Four players with NHL experience - Cody Almond
, Carson McMillan
, Marco Scandella
and Jared Spurgeon
- will attend the camp that currently has 42 players attending.
All five members of the Wild's 2011 Draft class will also be in attendance, including: Brodin, Phillips, Mario Lucia
, Nick Seeler
and Tyler Graovac
. Coyle will also participate in the camp.
They will be joined by other Wild prospects and several intriguing invitees. Two members of the national champion UMD Bulldogs - J.T. Brown and Jack Connolly - will join their former teammate, Justin Fontaine
, who signed a free agent contract with the Wild this spring. St. Paul native and current Princeton Tiger Mike Kramer has been invited, as has former Gopher Sam Lofquist, who is currently playing for Guelph in the OHL.
Other big names include:
- Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson and Zucker, who were all taken by the Wild in the second round in 2010
- Matthew Hackett and Darcy Kuemper, who are both coming off stellar goaltending campaigns. Hackett led Houston to the Calder Cup Finals, and Kuemper was named the WHL Player of the Year after leading the League in every goaltending category.
- Tyler Cuma, who is coming off a season ending knee injury suffered during an Aeros game at Xcel Energy Center in February
- Chay Genoway, the four-year leader of the UND Fighting Sioux that signed a free agent deal with the Wild in April.
Under the direction of Aeros Head Coach John Torchetti and the Wild's Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir, the group will spend three days on the ice practicing, before the pair of scrimmages on Saturday and Sunday.