Minnesota Wild Recall Eleven From Iowa


The Minnesota Wild Recalled 11 Skaters from the Iowa Wild this afternoon.

Good afternoon, Minnesota Wild fans. The Wild bolstered its roster today by recalling 11 skaters from the Iowa Wild. With the AHL Wild’s season ending in disappointment, this gives some of the promising players from Des Moines a chance to practice with the big club and be available in the event of an injury to one of the NHL players. I don’t anticipate seeing any of these skaters during playoff action, but let’s get caught up to speed on each of them, just in case.


Stu Bickel: The gritty, big-bodied defenseman played 9 games with the Minnesota Wild, registering one assist, 3 shots on goal, and a staggering 6 penalty minutes while averaging just over 5 minutes on ice per game. Bickel can also play forward when needed. In 43 games with the Iowa Wild, Bickel posted 11 points (3g-8a) and a -22 rating

Jonathon Blum: A former first round pick of the Nashville Predators, the left-shot offensive defenseman played 4 games with the Minnesota Wild this season, registering 1 assist and 3 shots on goal. In 66 games with the Iowa Wild, Blum led all defensemen on the team with 37 points (12g-25a.)

Gustav Olofsson: Originally a 2nd round pick of the Wild in the 2013 NHL entry draft, Olofsson has yet to make his regular season NHL debut after going down with an injury in the NHL pre-season. He played just one game with the Iowa Wild (October 10th, 2014) before having a season-ending procedure. Given his first full season as a pro was cut short, the practice time will be good for the promising stay-at-home defenseman.

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Guillaume Gelinas: An undrafted free-agent out of the QMJHL, Gelinas registered 4 points (2g-2a) in just 37 games with the Iowa Wild. Gelinas has yet to make his regular-season NHL debut.


Tyler Graovac: Originally a 7th round pick of the Minnesota Wild in the 2011 NHL entry draft, Graovac has blossomed in to a late round steal for the NHL Wild. Graovac played 3 games for the NHL Wild but didn’t register a point in limited ice time. In 73 games with the Iowa Wild, Graovac led the team in goals (21), points (46), and shots on goal (195.) He was tied with Blum for second on the team in assists (25.) I’ll talk more about Graovac at the end of this article

Michael Keranen: An undrafted free agent from Finland’s SM-Liga, the highly talented winger suited up for a few games and practiced with the Wild in February, but didn’t see any ice time. A pending restricted free-agent with great vision on the ice, Keranen racked up 10 goals and 27 assists in his first season with the AHL Wild. The practice time should be great for Keranen to show off his adjustments to the North American pro game in a contract year.

Kurtis Gabriel: The Wild’s 3rd round selection in the 2013 NHL entry draft, Gabriel has NHL size at 6-foot-3 and 189 pounds, but hasn’t provided much offense. Highly regarded for his work ethic, the right-winger registered 16 points (7g-9a) in 67 games with the Iowa Wild.

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  • Zack Mitchell: An undrafted free-agent from the Guleph Storm of the OHL, Mitchell has looked solid in his first AHL season. Putting up 35 points (17g-18a) in 67 games with the Iowa Wild, Mitchell has yet to make his regular-season NHL debut.

    Stephane Veilleux: A familiar name to Wild fans, Veilleux registered 2 points (1g-1a) in 12 regular season games with the NHL Wild. As Captain of the Iowa Wild, Veilleux put up 20 points (5g-15a) in 60 regular season games. Veilleux, who has played 14 pro seasons at the AHL and NHL level, isn’t afraid to bring a physical, defensively sound game.

    Brett Sutter: Probably the most exciting AHL recall this season in terms of point production and style of play; the AHL journeyman registered 3 assists in his first 2 games with the Minnesota Wild. The son of L.A. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, Brett posted 12 goals and 29 points in 71 games with the Iowa Wild.


    John Curry: The enigmatic journeyman netminder played in two games with the Minnesota Wild, staring one and posting a 0-0-1 record with a 4.17 GAA and 0.800 save percentage as the team in front of him struggled mightily. In Iowa, Curry fared a bit better with a 2.66 GAA and .917 save percentage through 41 games.

    Will any of them see playoff action?

    If you’re looking for a short answer, probably not. The Wild had 4 NHL capable forwards and 2 NHL capable defensemen in the press box during its 3-0 Win over St. Louis on Monday. Matt Cooke and Ryan Carter both have playoff experience and play a physical brand of hockey that rivals the St. Louis Blues, so they’re likely the next two skaters to step in to the line-up. Jordan Schroeder and Erik Haula are two of the fastest players on the roster, so they’d likely step in should some speed be needed. On defense, both Nate Prosser and Christian Folin can step in to a 3rd pairing role without a problem.

    Now, let’s play the what-if game. If the Wild should need a center to play 3rd line minutes, Tyler Graovac would be the likely suitor. He’s got similar size to Charlie Coyle and has played excellent hockey in Iowa. He’s likely yearning for a chance to play in the NHL again and will be jockeying for an NHL roster spot at the beginning of next season, so this could serve as his chance to prove he deserves it. I really like Graovac, and he strikes me as the most likely Iowa player to earn playoff time, but it’s a long shot.

    Now, Say the Wild need a left-shot defenseman. In the past, the Wild has gotten around that by moving Jonas Brodin to the other side of the pairing and giving him second line time; however, Brodin and Suter are playing fantastically together this series. For a bit of offensive prowess, Jon Blum could slide in to this spot. He’s a great power play quarterback in Iowa and was tied for second on the team in points. That said, Blum’s success in the AHL hasn’t translated to the NHL and he’s running out of time to prove it.

    Should the Blues or any opponent decide to play a rough and tumble brand of hockey, Bickel or Veilleux would be natural choices to stand in as deterrents for the Wild, but I’d be extremely hesitant to see either of them suit up for Playoff action.

    It all seems unlikely, but as this team is painfully aware, anything can happen. Is there a player you’d like to see join the Wild for the playoffs? Le me know in the Comments below!

    Next: Iowa Wild Season Review

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