Coming into the 2013 season, Mikael Granlund was one of the most hyped rookies of the new year. Many expected him to make a potential run at the Calder Trophy. But the rookie had been disappointing for the Minnesota Wild and was eventually sent to the Houston Aeros in March.
Granlund got off to a strong start in his career, with a goal in his first game, but was quiet overall. Despite an opportunity in the top six, he had just six points in 19 games prior to being assigned to Houston.
With Houston this year, Granlund has performed very well. Going back to the time he spent with the Aeros back during the lockout, he has 28 points in 29 games total. He had seven in the nine games since being re-assigned back in March.
The question is going to be whether or not Granlund could stick around this time, or if we should expect to see him back in Houston in the very near future. Injuries have opened the door for Granlund to work his way back into the lineup, with Dany Heatley being out indefinitely leading to his callup.
He had a quiet return to the Wild lineup, as they were shutout on Thursday night. He won just four of his 12 draws overall and had a couple of shots. Not a terrible game, but he wasn’t too noticeable.
It will be interesting if we see Granlund make a statement that says he deserves to stick around this time. The Wild are flying towards the postseason, and they’ve been playing extremely well without him. There’s no doubt that having a player with the upside of Granlund in the lineup would only help their chances in the postseason, if he can bring some of that extraordinary playmaking ability to the ice on a regular basis.