Mikael Granlund has to have Wild fans drooling after he was named the AHL Rookie of the Month. And if his performance through the first month of the 2012-13 AHL season has any merit, the Wild should be excited to get this kid in their lineup.
Granlund was honored for his fine start to the season in the American Hockey League by being named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for October. In seven games for the Houston Aeros, Granlund registered three goals and seven assists, good for ten points to go with a modest plus-5 rating.
The 20-year old put together a six-game point streak that started after the opening night where he was held scoreless. The highlight has to be the game on October 20 against the Texas Stars when Granlund broke out with a four-point night (two goals and two assists). It was then that Granlund started to get some attention and now he’s considered an early rookie favorite to crack the Wild roster should a new CBA be put in place and the NHL salvages their season.
Granlund was selected in the first round (ninth overall) by the Wild in the 2010 NHL entry draft and has spent the past three seasons playing in Finland for the HIFK Helsinki where he helped them win a league championship in 2011. He also has some impressive accomplishments on the world hockey stage at an early age. He was apart of Finland’s gold medal winning team in 2011 at the World Hockey Championships and was named to the tournament all-star team at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.
His experience playing against men versus junior aged players could help propel his game to the next level, something he’ll need in order to stay with the Wild on a full-time basis, if and when hockey resumes in the NHL.
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