Wild prospect Granlund expected to be signed soon

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Minnesota Wild fans have reason to be excited about skilled forward Mikael Granlund, the club’s ninth overall selection in 2010 that the StarTribune reports should be locked up shortly.

Granlund led HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League with 51 points in 45 games — a fair accomplishment for a player that just turned 20 in February.

From the StarTribune:

The Wild must sign Granlund by June 1, or it loses his rights and the 20-year-old can re-enter the draft.

But the Wild and Granlund’s agent say discussions have been positive and there’s no reason to sound the alarm bells. Granlund has said over and over that he is ready for a new challenge and that his intent is to sign with the Wild.

So while it might take a few days to finalize paperwork, all indications are the Wild will very soon announce the signing of Granlund to a three-year, $2.7 million contract — the maximum for a 2010 draft pick — along with potentially lucrative performance bonuses.

The list of first-round picks that haven’t panned out for the Minnesota Wild is a depressingly lengthy one. In fact, the last pick that turned into an impact player in the NHL was Brent Burns, the 20th overall selection all the way back in 2004.

Since then? Well, let’s see here. A.J. Thelen. Benoit Pouliot. James Sheppard. Colton Gillies. Tyler Cuma. Nick Leddy.

From the Wild’s perspective, the only positive you can say is that Pouliot was flipped for Guillaume Latendresse, and the latter hasn’t played more than 16 games since 2009-10 and may well be cut loose by the club.

On second thought, that’s not very positive.