Mikael Granlund lets his actions on the ice speak for him.
Soft-spoken off the ice, Granlund is in the midst of a career year on it and that may be something of an understatement.
Granlund’s previous career best in points was 44, set a year ago. It’s the early days of February and he has already surpassed his point total from a year ago, and by the time this season is over, he will obliterate that previous standard, provided he remains healthy.
“He’s a hidden secret that’s probably not too hidden anymore,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He’s as good a playmaker as I’ve seen for a winger.”
On Saturday, he turned goal scorer, improving his point streak to 12 games with a hat trick — and an assist — in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
He’s part of the larger scale turnaround in Minnesota, which rebounded from a disappointing loss to Calgary when the NHL schedule resumed earlier in the week.
The Wild now lead the Central Division by four points. Devan Dubnyk is once again a big reason for this team’s success, but Minnesota is also one of the most vaunted teams offensively. They’re third in the league in goals-for per game (3.33) and only the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers have been better.
Saturday night, the Wild’s nominal fourth line included Charlie Coyle (13 goals) and Chris Stewart (11 goals). There are seven other Wild players who’ve hit double digits in goals this season, and they don’t include Jason Pominville. Their second line — with Zucker, Granlund and Mikko Koivu — might be the best in the NHL, and they dominated the Canucks on Saturday night