Minnesota Wild: Where Will Bouramman Play Next Season?


Yesterday the Minnesota Wild announced that they were signing their 2015 7th round pick Gustav Bouramman to a three-year entry-level contract.  The 19-year old Swede is coming of a great OHL campaign and looks have a lot of options of where he could play next season.

Defensive depth is not much of a worry for the Minnesota Wild these days.  The NHL roster is filled out and as a whole the defensive group can be considered one of the best in the league.  In Iowa the defensive talent is a little thinner, but by and large the AHL roster boasts strong prospects who are on the verge of breaking into the NHL soon.  Still with an eye on the future the Wild decided yesterday to sign their 7th Round selection from the 2015 Draft defenseman Gustav Bouramman to an entry-level contract.

Bouramman’s deal is for three years at an undisclosed salary.  The 19-year old Swede has spent the last two seasons in North America playing for Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL, and has excelled as one of the best defenders in the OHL in that time.  According to Wild.com Bouramman was tied for 3rd amongst all OHL defensemen in assists (40) and was tied for 5th amongst defenders in points (46).

Bouramman has been described as a puck possession player with strong skating.  He’ll be a valuable puck mover for the Wild, and looks to have about the same kind of game as a Jared Spurgeon with more size at 6’0’’.  His strong assist numbers help advance that narrative that his puck moving is strong, and furthermore as he matures in the North American game his physicality could increase as well.

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This signing comes late in the summer and really signals few possibilities as to what they plan to do with Bouramman in the near future.  The first and most simple possibility is that the Wild were simply looking to sign Bouramman from the beginning of summer, but due to some details are just now able to cement the final deal now.  The intent in this case could be have him mature more in the OHL, and make sure he doesn’t go back to Sweden.  Or they could be flat-out eying him for a spot in Iowa as he’s already doing very well in the OHL and might need to be challenged by the higher level of competition in the AHL.

Another possibility is that the Wild are making this signing now with the anticipation of losing one of their Iowa defensemen to the big club.  Mike Reilly or possibly Gustav Olofsson would be in line for a full-time promotion if a roster spot opened up in Minnesota, meaning that maybe there could be an impending trade of one of the big club defenders.

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While intriguing as it is that a trade may happen, it’s most likely not the case.  The more probable course is that Bouramman is being signed to keep him in North America to mature more in the OHL or AHL, but the timing of the signing does make you think a bit if his signing is out of necessity to fill a hole in Iowa.  The Wild will bring him into training camp with the idea of evaluating him just like all the other players to see where he needs to spend next season.

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Overall though this is an excellent move as Bouramman is ready to move to the next level.  If he’s playing this well in the OHL its time to see what he can do at a higher level.  All indications are that he’s got the talent to do well, and will no doubt be ready.  His hybrid North American/European game will be huge for him as he looks to climb the ranks towards a Wild roster spot in the future.  My thought is you will see him in an Iowa sweater next season for sure.