Top 25 Minnesota Wild players 25-years-old or younger; No. 16 Jordan Schroeder

Nov 19, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Wild center Jordan Schroeder (10) takes a shot on goal while defended by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Wild center Jordan Schroeder (10) takes a shot on goal while defended by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Wild had the opportunity to select Minnesota native Jordan Schroeder twice in the 2009. They passed both times, but now have the former St. Thomas Academy star in the organization.

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entered the 2009 draft with the 12th pick in the first round. Chuck Fletcher had just been hired as the team’s second general manager in franchise with a solid stable of defense prospects. What the team lacked was skilled forwards and draft picks.

When Fletcher and his staff were on the clock, the nation’s leading freshman scorer and University of Minnesota star Jordan Schroeder was available. Fletcher was expected to take the local product.

However, Fletcher found a team wanting to move up to the 12th pick and acquired the 16th selection as well as a few more picks in the middle and late rounds. Then when the 16th pick came around, Schroeder was still available.

Once again, Fletcher did not take Schroeder, but selected local high school defenseman Nick Leddy instead.

Schroeder slid several more picks and was taken by the Vancouver Canucks at 22. He played one more season for the Gophers before turning pro.

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After four seasons in the Canucks organization, which included a pair of ankle injuries that cost him a few games, he became available again for the Wild. The Canucks did not offer him a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent. He had six goals and nine assists over parts of two seasons with the Canucks.

The Wild signed the Lakeville native to a two-way contract. He was to be an up-and-down depth player to help an Iowa team that was terrible in 2013-14 and provide quality minutes on the NHL squad when needed.

The Wild did not just write him into that role, but gave him the opportunity for more. The 5-foot-9-inch, 184-pound forward was sent to Iowa to begin his Wild career. After beginning the season as one of Iowa’s best offensive players, he was called up to the NHL squad.

Three games into his third stint (three previous games total in his first two recalls), he notched his first goal in a Minnesota uniform against his former team. His milestones with the Wild continued his former Canucks when he recorded his first multi-point game (two assists) with the Wild in Vancouver a week later.

Schroeder has enjoyed some success with the Wild, but most of it has come in Iowa. In his two seasons with the Wld, he has five goals and seven assists in 51 games in Minnesota. Conversely, In Iowa, he has 24 goals and 38 assists in 75 games.

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At this point in his career, Schroeder is just a versatile, right-handed, depth player. He and the Wild want more from him. This offseason, he was looking for a one-way contract and filed for arbitration to decide. The Wild placed him on waivers days before his hearing to prove a point. Schroeder went unclaimed and eventually agreed to a two-way contract.

This may be time for him to establish himself as an everyday NHL player. Schroeder has a high hockey-IQ, toughness and a lot of speed.

It will be difficult for him to find a spot on one of the top three lines with right-handed shooting wings Charlie Coyle and Jason Pominville as well as the left-handed Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker already taking up those six spots. However, the Wild only have Tyler Graovac and Chris Stewart penciled in on the fourth line. That leaves one spot on the fourth line and the extra forward spot open on the roster. Schroeder should get one of the first opportunities to earn one those spots.

In addition to roster spots being open, his combination of speed and smarts should excel on the fourth line under new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau has historically had teams that got up-and-down the ice and produced on offense. Where Schroeder doesn’t fit is his size. Boudreau had some big and heavy teams that wore the opposition down with physicality. Schroeder will give a hit, but does not give the intimidating hit that makes defensemen look over their shoulders.

Schroeder obviously has the desire to be a full-time NHL player. He needs to find his niche soon, if he is going to remain at the sport’s highest level.