Jonas Brodin looks over in Team Green's direction during warm ups.
I know this is about a week late but I finally got all of my pictures from this year's development camp. So I am going to give you about 20 pictures from the Sunday scrimmage of some of the Wild's top prospects. I will provide captions but I hope you enjoy he visual journey. All of these pictures were captured by a Canon EOS Rebel with a Zoom lens.
Wild 2nd round pick (46th Overall) #49 Raphael Bussieres. I thought he played well in both games. He demonstrated good strength on the puck and the ability to work well along the wall. Bussieres, a member of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar had decent chemistry on a line with #63 Charlie Coyle and #47 Johan Larsson.
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Team Green jumps out to a 1-0 lead as #16 Jason Zucker threads a pass up to #64 Mikael Granlund who flies right by #76 Nick Seeler and makes a quick little deke before beating goaltender Joe Howe with a sneaky shot, 5-hole. You can see how Granlund moves in and switches from forehand to backhand for the nice little finish.
I apologize for the grainy photo here, but this is a good picture of #54 Brett Bulmer finishing his check on big defenseman #67 Kyle Medvec. As you can see, the 6'3" Bulmer has no problem leveling the 6'6" 225lbs blueliner. Bulmer was a wrecking ball in both scrimmages, throwing his body around a lot and I think has to have a fair chance at making the team out of training camp.
Brett Bulmer tries to jam a puck through Joe Howe, and hacks away before getting pushed out of the area by a physical play by Medvec as he helps bail out his goaltender who can't quite get a handle of it and Team Green scoring chance is averted.
Mikael Granlund did a nice job of finding open space on the ice which is no doubt a little harder to come by on the smaller North American ice surface. This time he's looking for a back door pass that never came as the defense's attention is focused on the other end of the offensive zone.
2011 1st round pick (28th Overall)#61 Zack Phillips dazzled a bit with his ability to dangle as he worked his way around Golden Gophers forward#56 Erik Haula. Phillips still has to improve his skating if he wants to play int he NHL, but he has terrific hands and is pretty good 1-on-1. He didn't have any goals, but he had some terrific chances that narrowly missed; including a shot that he lifted up high on Matt Hackett that he was just barely able to knock out of harm's way.
Team White's best line on Sunday was the line of Wild prospects #73 Joel Broda, #53 Tyler Graovac (7th round, 191st Overall in 2011), and camp invitee #71 Brett Olson who were dangerous most of the scrimmage. Broda was especially assertive and here is driving towards the net as he fires a wrist shot that was kicked aside by Stephen Michalek who was victimized early. Tyler Graovac opened a lot of eyes on Thursday with his strong play where he demonstrated he was a big body (6'4", 191lbs) that could move, dangle and finish. I expect him to have a terrific overage season with the 67's who should have a some graduations this year with Shane Prince and Tyler Toffoli likely moving on up to the American Hockey League.
#70 Louie Nanne, the grandson of North Stars player, coach and general manager Lou Nanne was mostly invisible in this scrimmage compared to his performance on Thursday. He is very small but he has outstanding speed and decent hockey sense even if he doesn't have all that great of hands. He is going to be playing for Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League next season before he reports to the University of Minnesota in 2013-14.
2012 1st round pick (7th Overall) #55 Matt Dumba made his presence felt with a few big open ice hits that connected with Erik Haula and Kris Foucault respectively. He was still a bit jittery in the offensive zone, but demonstrated good mobility even if he is a risk taker. I know he wants to play with the Wild next season, but I think he'd be best served returning to junior where he'd benefit from more ice time as he's too young to play in the AHL.
Camp Invitee Joe Howe played very well for Team White both on Thursday and Sunday allowing just 2 goals in regulation play. The former Wayzata star is about to start his senior year at Colorado College. Howe initially had the starting job with the Tigers last season before being supplanted by sophomore Josh Thorimbert.
Wild 7th round pick (182nd Overall, 2009) #56 Erik Haula pins Brett Bulmer against the boards as Zack Phillips waits near the right post for a pass. Haula, who led the Golden Gophers in scoring last season as a junior had an ok camp. He still needs to add strength and show a little more grit along the boards if he wants to earn a spot at the NHL level.
One of the development camp's biggest surprises was the strong play of 5th round (128th Overall, 2012) #42 Daniel Gunnarsson. The defenseman demonstrated terrific poise and some nice offensive skills throughout both scrimmages, tallying a goal and an assist. Not too bad for a guy who was initially passed over in the 2010 draft. While he certainly needs to add strength to his lanky frame, he has a lot of good aspects of his game to build upon.