Even if there’s a lockout, top Wild prospect Granlund will stay in North America


Top-tier Wild prospect Mikael Granlund is going to work towards making the transition from Finland’s SM-liiga to North American hockey in 2012-13. As the Pioneer Press reported, that won’t change even if there’s a lockout.

While other players — or the agents who represent them — have suggested recently that they would consider playing in Europe in the event of a lockout, Granlund isn’t one of them.

“There’s basically nothing left to accomplish there,” Granlund’s agent, Todd Diamond said. Granlund had 20 goals and 51 points in 45 games with HIFK Helsinki.

Diamond added, “By playing in Houston, (Granlund) would be getting used to the American style of play and the size of the rink, which is larger in Europe. If there is no (labor) agreement, he would be better off in Houston.”

Granlund, who was born in Oulu, Finland, was originally selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Assuming the players and owners agree to a new CBA in time, Granlund could be part of the Wild’s opening game roster on Oct. 13.