Prospects the Minnesota Wild Need to Watch Closely

Most Minnesota Wild fans know the names of Kirill Kaprizov, Adam Beckman, and Kaapo Kähkönen but should soon know the names of Fedor Gordeev, Calen Addison, and Brennan Menell.

Brennan Menell (D)

AHL All-Star Game, Brenan Mennel #27 (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Wild like to sign Minnesota native players as well as Minnesota college players. For example, Nick Seeler from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Kyle Rau also from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and Alex Stalock from St.Paul, Minnesota. There are certainly more, but our focus is on the undrafted Woodbury Minnesota native, Brennan Menell.

Like other Wild prospects, Menell had a monster season in the AHL this year.

The 23-year-old right-handed defender notched 5 goals and 47 points for the Iowa Wild. His 42 assists also led all AHL defensemen in that category. Before being signed by Minnesota in 2017 Menell had himself an impressive season in the WHL, recording 12 goals and 59 assists for 71 points in just 70 games. Menell’s monster year helped the Lethbridge Hurricanes make a deep run in the WHL playoffs. Brennan carried his play from the regular season to the postseason, recording 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points in just 20 playoff games.

His first season with Iowa was certainly a feeling out process, yet he still picked up 8 goals. His next two seasons provides some solid offensive play that should get Wild fans excited about. Menell posted back to back seasons with 42 assists, which shows his puck-moving skills are high end and shouldn’t go unnoticed.

His impressive 2019-2020 AHL season had him awarded for his efforts, not only playing in the AHL Allstar Game but also being selected to be on the 2019-2020 AHL Allstar team with a couple of other Wild teammates.

Calen Addison (D)

CHL/NHL Prospects Game, Calen Addison #2 (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

If anyone in the Minnesota Wild organization knew the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect pool inside and out, it would be GM Bill Guerin. Guerin worked as an assistant GM under Penguins GM Jim Rutherford for the past 5 years before being named as the Wild’s fourth GM in their history. Guerin and Rutherford have a good connection, making the Zucker trade an easy one and valuable to both teams. Wild GM Bill Guerin got a nice return for Zucker and set the market for many teams.

Guerin was able to get the Penguins number one prospect, Calen Addison, a former 30 goal scorer, Alex Galchenyuk, and a conditional 2020 1st-round pick. A top prospect and a 1st round pick certainly helps the Wild’s future. A former 30 goal scorer works as a good fill in for an absent Jason Zucker. This deal also clears up $5.500M in cap space for the 2020 offseason, if Galchenyuk and the Wild part ways, which may help the Wild get a top centerman.

Calen Addison, a right-handed shooting defender is thought to be an elite offensive defenseman and his four complete seasons in the WHL certainly proves that. The 20-year-old defender had a strong season during his draft year, recording 11 goals and 54 assists for 65 points in just 68 games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. His following year shows consistency where he recorded the same amount of goals, assists, and points in just one less game. He also plays a strong game when it counts, the playoffs. In 39 WHL playoff games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Addison has recorded 9 goals and 21 assists for 30 points.

Although I wouldn’t rush his development, I cant wait to see if he can be an elite offensive defenseman in the NHL, and make that Wild sweater look good.

Fedor Gordeev (D)

London Knights, Fedor Gordeev #29 (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Many Wild fans may not know anything about Gordeev, but he is certainly a guy to keep your eye on. Just like Calen Addison, Gordeev was acquired in a trade. Former Wild GM Paul Fenton acquired the rights to Gordeev from Toronto for a 2020 conditional 7th round pick, which was originally Winnipeg’s. Since the Wild did sign Gordeev they will give Winnipeg’s 7th to Toronto.

A pretty small trade but I have to give Fenton some credit, Gordeev’s size is extremely intriguing and he may crack the Wild’s defense group soon.  So to give up just a 7th round pick that wasn’t ours, for a 6-foot 7-inch defensive defenseman, It’s a pretty nice trade in my eyes.

The 21-year old defender recorded 32 points in 51 games for OHL’s Guelph Storm. This is not bad considering he is mainly thought of as a defensive defenseman, unlike the other two, Brennan Menell and Calen Addison. Gordeev has the potential to be a mean shut-down defender with his 6”7’ 225lbs frame.

What I like about him is his size, but he is also not afraid to jump up in the rush. He’s got some massive strength which could translate to a nice shot from the blue-line, as well as, a mean net-front presence to push opponents out of his crease to provide our goalies to track the puck well.

What’s Their Timeframe?

I would love to see these three on the back end for the Wild very soon, but it most likely won’t happen until Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba get traded. These three provide the Wild with some good options if they do trade either Brodin or Dumba or even both. Gordeev would either fill the defensive role Brodin left or play alongside Brad Hunt assuming Carson Soucy moves up. I believe Gordeev would fit in nicely.

You wouldn’t want to rush the development on Menell and Addison, so waiting to trade Dumba may be a smarter option. But either Menell or Addison would take the offensive role Dumba left and most likely flourish playing alongside Brodin if he is still there or Carson Soucy.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what Wild GM Bill Guerin does with these three defenders. I know I sure cant wait to see them in Wild uniforms.

All stats come from Elite-Prospects