Mike Halford

ST PAUL, MN - APRIL 20: Fans hold up a flag before Game Three between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 20, 2015 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Wild to hire Lalonde, their fourth AHL coach in four years

Minnesota hopes the revolving coaching door in AHL Iowa has stopped spinning.

Per the Star-Tribune, the club will soon announce that Derek Lalonde is the next bench boss of their minor league affiliate, taking on a position that’s been in a constant state of upheaval.

That state began in November of 2014, when Kurt Kleinendorst was fired after an ugly 2-10 start to the year. The Wild replaced Kleinendorst with John Torchetti, who held the mantle until midway through this past season, when Minnesota fired Mike Yeo.

GM Chuck Fletcher then made the decision to bring up Torchetti from Iowa to replace Yeo, slapping an interim tag on Torchetti and his replacement at the AHL level — David Cunniff, who coached the club for 24 games to close out the regular season.

After Bruce Boudreau got the Wild coaching job last month, Torchetti took an assistant’s gig in Detroit. No word yet on where Cunniff will land.

Lalonde, 41, has no coaching experience at the AHL level, though he has been behind the bench in the NCAA, USHL and ECHL levels. He’s spent the last two seasons in Toledo, the East Coast affiliate of the Red Wings.

Get to know a draft pick — Jakob Chychrun

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 28:  Jakob Chychrun #5 of Team Cherry skates up ice during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game January 28, 2016 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Jakob Chychrun (D)

Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 205 pounds Shoots: Left

Team: Sarnia Sting (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 4 North American skater

Kennedy says: “Since Chychrun started the year off as a potential top-3 pick, many folks have been asking about his drop. For me, this happens every year and it’s not all about him; other players have just been really good.

“Chychrun, with his NHL bloodlines, NHL size, mobility and maturity, is still an excellent prospect. Could he process the game quicker? Sure. But he is still evolving as a player. He’s going to play in the league for a long time.

“And if he drops to the bottom of the top-10, it’s no big deal. The same thing happened to Cam Fowler, and he turned out pretty well.”

Related: Benning: ‘In a perfect world,’ Canucks would like to take a D-man in first round

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.

Get to know a draft pick — Logan Brown

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Alex Green #2 and Logan Brown #22 of Team Plante prepare to play Team Roenick during the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 24, 2015 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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THN Banner

Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Logan Brown (C)

Height: 6-foot-6 Weight: 220 pounds Shoots: Left

Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Country: U.S.

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 7 North American skater

Kennedy says: “There’s a lot of hype around Brown lately, and with good reason.

“He’s a legit tower at 6-foot-6, with a lot of room to get stronger. He’s an insanely good playmaker and he’s learning to shoot the puck more. Plus, his dad is former NHLer Jeff Brown, so he’s got the bloodlines going for him too.

“There is some risk in Brown, as he still needs to fully grasp his own potential. For me, he could turn out to be Joe Thornton, or he could turn out to be Joe Colborne. Naturally, teams picking around the top-10 are hoping for the former and like teammate Mikhail Sergachev, Brown will get a Memorial Cup experience next year, as the Spitfires host.”

Related: Watch out for the Carolina Hurricanes

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.

Get to know a draft pick — Mikhail Sergachev

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 28:  Mikhail Sergachev #31 of Team Orr skates up ice during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game January 28, 2016 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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THN Banner

Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Mikhail Sergachev (D)

Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 208 pounds Shoots: Left

Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Country: Russia

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 8 North American skater

Kennedy says: “The three top defensemen in this draft all play in the OHL, but it was Sergachev who was named the league’s blueliner of the year. Pretty good for a rookie who had never played a season on North American ice.

“But Sergachev is very good. He can log big minutes and contribute in all situations – especially on offense. He has excellent size and according to one scout I spoke with, he’s the most NHL-ready defenseman in the draft.

“As a bonus for whichever team drafts him, Sergachev will be a key component of a Windsor team that hosts the Memorial Cup next year, so he’s guaranteed to be playing high-pressure hockey right to the end.”

Related: Benning doesn’t know if there’s a true No. 1 defenseman at this year’s draft

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.

 

Get to know a draft pick — Alexander Nylander

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 06:  Top Prospect Alexander Nylander speaks during media availability for the 2016 NHL Draft Top Prospects prior to Game Four of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 6, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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2 Comments

THN Banner

Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Alexander Nylander (LW)

Height: 6-foot Weight: 180 pounds Shoots: Right

Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Country: Sweden

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 3 North American skater

Kennedy says: “The younger brother of Toronto’s William Nylander, Alex had himself quite the first season in North America. Not only was he named OHL rookie of the year, but he was also lightning for Sweden at the world juniors, picking up for his brother when William was concussed by a Swiss player early on.

“Alex is slightly bigger than his brother, but has just as many jaw-dropping moves. His passing vision is sublime and because he was technically ‘loaned’ to Mississauga from Swedish club Rogle, he does not have to stay in junior next season – he could also play in the AHL (or NHL, or Europe).”

Related: Nylander finishes as Central Scouting’s No. 3 North American skater

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.