Much of the news surrounding the Minnesota Wild over the last few days has centered around the free agent signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who met the local media together for the first time on Monday.
But the team’s development camp also kicked off on Monday, which opens the door for the younger players in the system to prove themselves worthy of taking the next step to the NHL for the 2012-2013 season. Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr has specifically mentioned defenseman Jonas Brodin, the team’s top draft pick in 2011 (#10 overall), as a player who has an opportunity to stand out and make the team right out of the gate this fall.
Brodin will turn 19 later this week, so it’s fair to suggest some time in the minors would do him a lot of good as he makes the transition to playing in North America after playing in the Swedish Elite League for the past two-plus seasons. But Brodin does have a fairly significant international experience (16 games) as a junior and in the 2012 World U20 (under 20) Championships combined playing for Sweden. That experience against good competition stands to ease his transition to the NHL, whenever that time comes.
Brodin will certainly need to add some bulk (166 lbs.) to his frame to hold up better physically as an NHL defenseman, but with youth on his side there’s no reason that can’t happen. Adding him to the competition for roster spots along the blue line should make everyone else better and that obviously will benefit the Wild this season and beyond.