Michael Keranen Recalled By Minnesota Wild


On Wednesday the Minnesota Wild recalled forward Michael Keranen to the NHL from the Iowa Wild. This is Keranen’s first NHL call-up and if draws into the lineup against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, he will be making his NHL debut.

Keranen was signed over the summer out of the Finnish Elite League (Liiga) as an undrafted free agent. There he lead the league in scoring last season while playing for Ilves Tampere, scoring 13 goals and 14 assists through 56 games last year. He was also awarded the Lasse Oksanen Award, given to the league’s best player in the regular season. Though he’s Swedish born, Keranen plays international hockey for Finland.

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The 25-year-old winger has posted nine goals and 23 assists through 52 games with Iowa this season, putting him just behind Tyler Graovac for the team lead.

Keranen was partly called up because Thomas Vanek is dealing with an injury that kept him out of practice on Tuesday. Though Vanek made it through practice on Wednesday morning and it appears that he will play. It’s not yet clear whether or not Keranen will play if Vanek is in the lineup.

Keranen’s strong play in the AHL has earned him a shot at the Wild lineup and it seems like Calgary is a good time to see what you’ve got in Keranen. His size was always a concern; he’s 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. If he can prove himself to be an offensive force that improves the top three lines, Keranen may be able to fill some of the void left by Jason Zucker’s injury.

Injuries to Matt Cooke and Ryan Carter have the Wild concerned about the penalty kill and physicality, which may make it tough for Keranen to puncture the linuep on a regular basis, especially with Jordan Schroeder playing well. But if you want to see what you’ve got in Keranen and you want to see if he’s capable of stealing a roster spot, Calgary seems like a great night to give it a shot.

If Keranen draws into the lineup, he will wear number 36.