Top 25 Minnesota Wild players 25-years-old or younger; No. 9 Alex Tuch


The Minnesota Wild began reloading their offensive prospect pool with the selection Alex Tuch in the first round of the 2014 draft. After his sophomore season, he signed the Wild and will begin his professional career this year.

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When the

Minnesota Wild

came on the clock at the 2014 with the 18th pick in the first round, they had an easy choice.

Alex Tuch

is big, skilled and was one of the most talented players in the draft.

The Wild were as surprised as anyone that he was available. Tuch entered the draft on the rise and was expected to six to 10 picks before the Wild. He was surprised when the Wild selected him.

“They stood back in the shadows a bit,” Tuch said via at the 2014 draft. “I was kind of surprised that they picked me but really happy they picked me because it’s such a great organization with a good winning culture and a lot of great players.”

The Baldwinsville, NY native signed with the Wild after recording 18 goals and 16 assists in 40 games as a sophomore at Boston College. He managed to get into the top 64 in scoring in the NCAA after getting off to a very slow start (two goals in the first 12 games of the season). That slow start cost him a spot on US World Junior Championship roster.

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The 6-foot-4-inch, 222-pound right wing drew praise from the Wild’s management at the team’s development camp in July. Prospects can separate themselves from their peers by how they are away from the rink.

“You can see the growth, obviously with the way he handles himself off the ice, obviously his confidence level and he’s stronger and quicker and obviously he’s blessed with a lot of natural tools,” assistant general manager Brent Flahr said via the Pioneer Press during the development camp. “He works very hard off the ice and he’s driven to be an NHL player.”

With several forwards playing in the World Cup of Hockey during training camp and a portion of the preseason, Tuch will have a lot of opportunities to earn a spot on the NHL roster. However, it will not be easy with most of the top three lines set. Zach Parise, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville are the frontrunners to man the nine wing positions on the top three lines.

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The biggest question marks are the fourth line left wing and center spots to play with Chris Stewart. Tuch is not going to play on the off-wing and will not play on the fourth line.

The 20-year-old needs to play meaningful minutes (top two lines equivalent) and on the power play. The best place for his development is in Iowa.

Dobber Prospects believes he will be an NHL player quickly because of his physical stature. They add that once he improves a few things on the ice (consistency, hands and vision), he will be a dominant player.

Hockey’s Future has a very high belief in Tuch’s future. They believe he will be a first or second line player with a very high likelihood of reaching his potential.

I believe Tuch really high ceiling. He has the skills (skating ability, shot, physicality, attitude and swagger) to be an elite player. His quest to become one of the NHL’s best should start in Iowa next season.