The Minnesota Wild mini training camp is underway and it’s going to be over before we know it. The season starts on Saturday and with little time to prepare, many questions surround the Wild and their tentative roster. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the news and notes from camp.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the Wild is their blue line or lack of depth on the back end. Recently Dakota looked at Steven Kampfer as a potential solution for the Wild and of course there is 18-year old, Matthew Dumba who is in camp.
Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press is at camp and Dumba is impressing the Wild brass with his skating and shooting abilities, but head coach Mike Yeo isn’t discussing Dumba’s chances of sticking with the Wild (courtesy of Brothers).
“He is going to be a really, really good player. It’s a big jump; one week you’re playing junior hockey, and the next week you’re coming out and playing against world-class players.”
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune writes on both Justin Falk and Nate Prosser and how they are expected to take the next steps in their careers. If both should step up their game, there’s little chance that Dumba would have even a remote shot at sticking around.
Throw in the injured Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella and the Wild blue line is suddenly crowded. More on the back end as the details emerge.
From the defense to the high scoring forwards, Pierre-Marc Bouchard is in camp and is catching the attention of Mike Yeo. Brothers states “he’s the Bouchard of old” given he added two assists during Monday’s scrimmage which is nothing but good news for the Wild.
He’s symptom free and Bouchard can be a game-changer with his shifty skating abilities and knack for getting the puck to his line mates through a maze of defenders. He makes any team better just by his presence on the ice and the Wild could certainly use his scoring to help balance their offensive attack.
Bouchard was playing the point during a power play alongside Ryan Suter. The two looked great together and Bouchard was instrumental in setting up the play that the Wild will run with for their PP.
Brothers notes that Bouchard has yet to receive medical clearance to suit up in Saturday’s opener but both he and Yeo are hoping that given his ability to compete this week will lead to number 96 being introduced to the frenzied crowd at Xcel.
There were only three goals scored during Monday’s scrimmage and newcomer Mikael Granlund got one of them. Granted it was only scrimmage, but it’s a promising sign to see Granlund and Dany Heatley pot powerplay markers. The Wild had the fourth worst power play in the league last year, something that must improve if they wish to contend for the division.