Tag: Zack Phillips


Wild first-rounders Dumba, Phillips highlight Traverse City roster


The Traverse City prospects tournament is nearly upon us and teams are letting us know who they’re sending. The latest to do that are the Minnesota Wild.

Leading the way to Michigan are a pair of first-round picks in defenseman Matthew Dumba (2012) and center Zack Phillips (2011). In all, the Wild will have 10 draft picks in Traverse City to represent them.

Other highlighted players include forwards Brett Bulmer (2010, 2nd round) and Raphael Bussieres (2012, 2nd round) as well as goalie Johan Gustafsson (2010, 6th round).

Dumba and Bulmer have had time at the NHL level in recent seasons while Phillips has hopes of being the next big offensive prospect for the team soon. He played alongside current Wild favorite Charlie Coyle in the QMJHL at Saint John.

The Wild will be joined by the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres, and Detroit Red Wings at the tournament.

Which prized Wild prospect will we see in the NHL first?

Charlie Coyle

The Minnesota Wild are set to see a couple of youngsters get their shot to make the Wild next season.

Finnish highlight reel maker Mikael Granlund and Denver University standout Jason Zucker will look to break through right away, but that’s not all the Wild have when it comes to hot prospects. When you take a look at what’s coming down the pipe, you can understand why Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were excited to land in St. Paul.

Minnesota has a pair of recent draftees in center Zack Phillips and defenseman Jonas Brodin as well as the acquisition of Charlie Coyle (from San Jose) who they’re sky-high on. Now we’re left to wonder who out of this bunch will be the first to make a splash in the NHL.

Phillips and Coyle were teammates at St. John in the QMJHL, a powerhouse team of late if there ever was one.

Coyle left Boston University to play in the Q in his abbreviated season he piled up 38 points (15 goals) in 23 games. In the playoffs, he was a monster adding another 34 points (15 goals again) in 17 games. Meanwhile, Phillips scored 30 goals with 80 points this past season with another 32 points in the postseason. That’ll do, kid.

Brodin spent his time in the Swedish league with Farjestad and is poised to come to North America this season. Brodin isn’t an offensive blue liner as he had just eight points this past season. The Wild are in need of a solid two-way guy and he could be the answer.

Of these three, Coyle seems most ready to make the leap. At 6’2″ and 207 pounds, he could be an impact forward in the league. What do you think though? Give a vote in our poll.

Mikael Granlund is officially a member of the Wild, signs three-year entry-level deal

Mikael Granlund

After all the anxiousness and fretting about the future of the Wild, a key player is finally in the fold.

According to Michael Russo of The Star-Tribune, Mikael Granlund, the ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft, has signed a three-year entry-level deal with Minnesota for $2.7 million.

Granlund’s offensive prowess and highlight reel goals while playing the last two years in Finland have made Wild fans pine for him like the fjords. With Granlund now in the fold, the Wild can hope for a jump in offensive production, and with other hopeful youngsters on the way (Jason Zucker, Zack Phillips, Charlie Coyle), the future is getting brighter.

If you’re curious about the kind of skill Granlund brings to the table, check out the goal he scored in last year’s World Championships against Russia.

Five teams you could call winners at the NHL Draft

Dale Tallon, Jonathan Huberdeau, Scott Luce

The NHL Draft is a great time for the kids who get selected to play for any of the 30 NHL teams and getting to live that dream where your name is called and you get to throw on the team sweater is a huge thrill. Of course, not every team makes the pick that turns out to be the big winner and sometimes kids (they are kids after all) don’t turn out the way a team hopes they will. When you’re right, you’re a genius but when you’re wrong you’re on the unemployment line as a scout or general manager.

With all that said, there are five teams who we looked at in the draft who came away looking like big winners for one reason or another. Making the right picks is a tough thing to do at the draft but these five teams stood out above all others for what they were able to pull off.

1. Detroit Red Wings

They traded out of the first round swapping their first round pick for a pair of second rounders from Ottawa and managed to land super skilled forward Thomas Jurco and defenseman Xavier Ouellet. Defense was a key point in this draft for the Wings as they also took defenseman Ryan Sproul with their own second round pick. Overall Detroit grabbed five defensemen with the nine selections they had in the draft. Perhaps Nicklas Lidstrom’s eventual retirement finally set in on their thinking.

In Jurco they land a puckhandling wizard the likes we haven’t seen since… Oh right, Detroit already has Pavel Datsyuk to do silly things with the puck. That said, if we see Datsyuk doing the kinds of things we’ve seen Jurco do in highlight reels on YouTube, the NHL world might implode.

They also landed forward Philippe Hudon in the fifth round. The NHL Central Scouting bureau had Hudon ranked 31st at their midseason rankings but when the final list came out, Hudon dropped to 74th. Could the Wings have tripped and fallen into another late-round success story? Time will tell, but Hudon is worth keeping an eye on at Cornell next season in the NCAA.

2. Florida Panthers

Aside from the Panthers swinging a draft day deal with Chicago that landed them Brian Campbell to play defense for them in exchange for Rostislav Olesz, GM Dale Tallon did pretty well at the top half of the draft as well. With the third overall selection they grabbed potential goal scoring machine Jonathan Huberdeau and in the second round they took diminutive spark plug forward Rocco Grimaldi.

Grimaldi’s skills at North Dakota and with the Team USA World Junior Championship teams has people thinking of Brian Gionta when they see him. Those kinds of comparisons are nice to have as Gionta made a killing in college hockey and carried it on to the pros in a big way. If Grimaldi can develop like that, the Panthers all of a sudden have some great skill on the wings.

A handful of other picks could turn out nicely as well for them including what they did in the third round grabbing center Vincent Trocheck, right wing Logan Shaw, defenseman Jonathan Racine, and center Kyle Rau. Four third round picks give Florida a nicer shot at landing someone else who could pan out in the NHL.

3. Minnesota Wild

What the Wild lacked in the number of picks they made up for it by having the prototypical great Round 1 for the hometown fans. While their first pick of Swedish defenseman Jonas Brodin may or may not have been a great pick for them as a reach at tenth overall, the Wild helped keep things exciting for the fans that didn’t go streaming for the exits immediately after that selection.

Minnesota swung the huge deal with San Jose that sent Brent Burns to the Sharks and Devin Setoguchi to Minnesota. That deal also gave the Wild a second first round pick which they used to take centerman Zack Phillips out of Saint John in the QMJHL. Phillips was Jonathan Huberdeau’s linemate on that Memorial Cup winning team and he’s got a ton of upside as a potential set up man in the NHL. Trading up to add Minnesota boy Mario Lucia late in the second round was another great thing to make the fans get excited as there’s nothing they love more than having guys from Minnesota play there.

4. New Jersey Devils

Full confession, the Devils making this list is based solely upon what happens when you hit the lottery both literally and figuratively. When the Devils won the NHL Draft Lottery that allowed them to move up to fourth overall, they had their fingers crossed that maybe Swedish stud defenseman Adam Larsson could fall their way. With how unpredictable things would be with the three teams ahead of them, it was a toss-up how things could go.

Lucky Lou Lamoriello proved to get things to go his way once again as the Oilers took Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Colorado grabbed Gabriel Landeskog, and Florida took Huberdeau. Hello future career stud defenseman. Larsson’s skills on the blue line have people making all kinds of lofty comparisons, but the one we’re thinking of here is Scott Niedermayer. Larsson is going to be very good and there’s a distinct chance he’ll be playing in New Jersey right away next season. It’s good to be Lou Lamoriello.

5. Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers weren’t set to have much to do at the NHL Draft before they cleaned house sending Jeff Carter and Mike Richards out of town. The Carter deal, while it’s got him in hiding feeling upset about the whole thing, landed the Flyers the eighth pick overall in the draft. There they lucked out in a big way after Winnipeg went off the board somewhat and took center Mark Scheifele ahead of them. That left the Flyers to take big centerman Sean Couturier from Drummondville of the QMJHL.

At 6’3″ 197, Couturier is set to be a big, physical and well-rounded center with the skills to defend and dish it out on offense as well. He plays well physically and can score with the best of them (96 points in 58 games last season, including 36 goals). Sounds like the ideal kind of guy to play in Philadelphia, wouldn’t you say? Their third round pick, center Nick Cousins, could turn out to be a nice complimentary player in the future as a playmaker type but for the Flyers, their culture change moves helped them land one of the five guys that was slated to be one of the best talents in the draft. Not a bad deal at all.