The Minnesota Wild had high hopes for rookie center Mikael Granlund coming into the season.
Of course, the same could have been said about their entire team for this year, which has under performed. But there is a question over whether or not the Wild should hold onto Granlund and let him work through his rookie struggles, or let him work those issues out down with the Houston Aeros.
After posting 51 points over in Finland during the 2011-2012 season, Granlund signed with the Wild this past summer, finally agreeing to an entry-level contract. His upside is still extremely high, but it might take him a bit longer than many had hoped for him to reach his potential.
Granlund began the season as the no. 2 center for the Wild. But to this point in the season, he only has six points on the year, with just one goal, in 18 games. He’s also served as a healthy scratch on more than one occasion this season. Not exactly how things were planned for the 21-year-old.
He has shown some improvement, though, and the Wild don’t exactly have a wealth of options to throw in the middle of their top six, outside of Granlund. Which is probably part of the reason he’s not in Houston as of right now.
We know what type of potential Granlund possesses. He has the chops to be an elite center in this league. He has superb playmaking abilities and can put the puck wherever he wants on the pass. It’s just a matter of that game acclimating to North America. And probably getting a better supporting cast around him.
It’d be a tough move for the Wild to send Granlund to Houston. He’s improved lately, even if it isn’t evident on the stat sheet. It may just be a matter of his game translating over from Finland. In time, this kid should be the star that everyone around the league is expecting him to become.