Minnesota Wild Prospect Report: The Week In Iowa


(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Here’s a quick look at what’s been going on over the past week down at the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.

The Minnesota Wild signed 2013 second round (46th overall) draft pick Gustav Olafsson to a three-year entry-level contract starting in the 2014-15 season, with the expectation that the Iowa Wild will sign the defenseman to an amateur tryout (ATO) later in the week.

Olofsson played one season with Colorado College, accumulating four goals and four assists through 30 games. He was also a part of Sweden’s Silver Medal team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in January. He ranked second in scoring amongst all defenseman with a goal and four assists during the tournament.

Read more about the Olofsson signing in a post by Dakota Case from last week.

The Iowa Wild played the first of a back-to-back against the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate the Charlotte Checkers. Steven Kampfer was still out with an injury and Johan Gustafsson got the start in net. Kris Foucault tallied the lone goal in a 2-1 loss.

Earlier in the day, the team signed defenseman Nicholas Rioux from the Quad City Mallards of the CHL and Bryce Aneloski from the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL to PTOs. This was Rioux’s third call up to Iowa, playing six games and going pointless in them.

Aneloski, who played three years for the University of Nebraska Omaha in the WCHA, is a rookie defenseman who played a single game earlier this season on a PTO with the Toronto Marlies.

The Iowa Wild played the second game in their back-to-back with the Checkers, their final home game for two weeks. Kampfer returned to the lineup and gave the team some additional offensive power on the blueline. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough, as Zach Boychuk netted a hat trick for the Checkers in a 7-0 loss for the Wild. Curry got the start, but was pulled after the seventh goal.

It was an all-around ugly game that started with the Checkers one point out of a playoff spot and the Wild ten points out. By the end the teams had a total of six game misconducts (4 for Iowa, 2 for Charlotte), eight misconducts, 16 fighting penalties, and 248 total penalty minutes.

Here are a couple of tweets to give you an idea of what that looked like in-game:

Here are a few quotes on the game from veteran Jake Dowell:

Nicholas Rioux was released from his PTO and returned to the Mallards.

Mike Collins was signed to an amateur tryout (ATO) from Merrimack College. He spent four years at the school totaling 53 goals and 65 assists in 138 games.

Dylan Labbe was signed to an ATO. Labbe played three years in the QMJHL with the Shawinigan Cataractes. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman was drafted in the fourth round (107th overall) by the Wild in 2013. He tallied 16 goals and 39 assists in 130 games for the Cataractes. Labbe would make his pro debut on Saturday.

Jamie MacQueen is signed to a PTO from the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL where he totaled 19 goals and 17 assists through 36 games this season. He’s played 51 AHL games in his career for three teams and played collegiate hockey for Bemidji State.

Gustav Olofsson was officially signed to his ATO, but would not suit up on Saturday.

The Wild took on the Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs AHL affiliate) and won 2-1 in a shootout. Jamie MacQueen scored the only regulation goal for the Wild, with both Carson McMillan and Zack Phillips scoring in the shootout. Gustafsson stopped all four shots he faced in the shootout, as well as 38 of 39 during regulation and overtime.

The Wild jumped out to an early lead over the Utica Comets on Sunday behind first period goals from Tyler Graovac (a beauty that you can see at the 2:20 mark here) and Brad Winchester (his team-leading 19th of the year). They ultimately fell 3-2 despite outshooting the Comets 34-24.

The Wild finished the week with a season record of 26-31-6-4, putting them dead last in the Western Conference and well out of playoff contention. They haven’t been mathematically eliminated, but it looks grim.

On a positive note, the Wild made AHL Highlights of the Week with a nice save by Gustafsson at the 10-second mark and a great glove save from Curry at the 40-second mark.

This week the Iowa Wild play the Grand Rapids Griffins (43-20-2-4) on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Admirals (32-22-6-7) on Friday, and the Chicago Wolves (39-20-5-3) on Sunday.

For great in-game coverage of the Iowa Wild, follow @IAWildLive and for general coverage give @toskyAHLWild a follow.