Nah, not bitter. Anyways, as the Draft coverage ramps up - it's less than a month until the 2012 Draft in Pittsburgh - and the number of games to cover wind down to zero (remember when the Wild played hockey? Me either.) there is less and less news. Fortunately, the last week has some unfinished business that doesn't include trying to figure out Brent Flahr's tendencies (although Dan knocked that one out of the park) which should be discussed.
After the jump, Saint John loses in the Memorial Cup, Johan Gustafsson contract talks prove to be anything but easy sailing and some good news involving Jack Jablonski.
Sea Dogs Fall Short In Memorial Cup Repeat Bid; Phillips Honored
Despite defeating Shawinigan 4-1 in the round-robin portion of the Memorial Cup, Saint John and Minnesota Wild prospects Zack Phillips and Charlie Coyle could not do it twice last Friday. The Sea Dogs, who were attempting to become the first team to repeat as Memorial Cup champions since Windsor in 2009-2010, lost 7-4 as the host team outplayed and outclassed their QMJHL rivals.
The good news: Besides losing to the eventual Memorial Cup champions (on a side note, it's idiotic that a team who couldn't win its own league is the champion of Canadian Major Junior Hockey but that's one of many problems with the Memorial Cup format), Zack Phillips scored and had an assist in the loss. The game wasn't as bad as the final score makes it look - Shawinigan scored three goals in the final ten minutes - and they still end the year as the QMJHL champions.
The bad news: After only losing one game in four rounds of the QMJHL playoffs, Saint John lost twice in the Memorial Cup. Also, Charlie Coyle didn't have to leave Boston University if he was going to be knocked out of the postseason by a team putting up a seven spot. There's no shame in losing to the Gophers and at least I could have seen it in person.
Regardless, Coyle ended the postseason with 38 points (15G-23A) in 21 games and four assists in the Memorial Cup. Phillips, meanwhile, finished the Memorial Cup with 3 goals and an assist in addition to being named the Sea Dogs' Most Valuable Player over the entire season. This culminates a season which the 2011 first round pick (28th overall) scored 80 points (30G-50A) in sixty regular season games, 36 points (12G-24A) in the postseason and stood in as captain when Jonathan Huberdeau was out.
No Me Gusta Johan Gustafsson Contract Situation
While Mikael Granlund received a lot of hype and attention over signing his entry-level contract, there's still another name from the 2010 Draft Class that needs to be signed. Swedish gold-medal winning WJC goalie Johan Gustafsson, who was picked in the sixth round in 2010, has until tomorrow to be signed by Minnesota before the Wild lose his rights. It's an interesting situation that mirrors Darcy Kuemper last year although he ended up signing. With Kuemper, Matt Hackett, Niklas Backstrom/Josh Harding, Stephen Michalek and the ghost of Dennis Endras (gone but not forgotten in contract form) one could make the point that the team has enough depth.
It's hard to say whether that is Gustafsson's position but my take on the matter is that you can never have enough depth. Goalies take the longest time to develop and the 20 year-old continues to shine. He was nominated for the Swedish Elite League rookie of the year (an award fellow Wild draftee Johan Larsson won) playing for Lulea and hasn't regressed. The key for the Wild is whether or not Minnesota sees Gustafsson as a possible NHL goalie because if they do there's no reason to not sign him despite having a plethora of youngsters at the position.
However, even if they do the
One thing is for sure: as much as I enjoyed Granlund Watch, we're not doing it for Gustafsson.
Johan Larsson On Twitter?
This one was brought to our attention by Felix Levasque but apparently 2010 second round pick Johan Larsson is on Twitter @JohanLarre. There's not much on there unless you're a fan of Swedish but if true, it's another future Minnesota Wild player using social media.
Also even if it's not true, the profile picture is still money.
Jason Zucker at UFC146
posted the picture on the right over the weekend. He spent his Memorial Day weekend home in Las Vegas attending UFC 146, which saw Junior Dos Santos headline an all-heavyweight main card by defending his World Heavyweight Championship against two-time UFC Champion Frank Mir by second-round TKO. The 2010 second round pick (59th overall) has been working out in Vegas during the offseason alongside MMA fighter Dan Hardy (who was victorious in his fight, knocking out Duane "Bang" Ludwig in the first round) and a few others on the UFC 146 card..
Upcoming prospects guide
There's nothing really in this article over at The Hockey Writers that regular readers of First Round Bust wouldn't know but it's a quick guide and a quick read. Plus anything that discusses Wild prospects is something we're down with.
Jack Jablonski Reports Movement
In the land of small minutia, this is news we love to hear. Jack Jablonski, the 16 year-old Minnesota high school hockey player who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a game last December, continues to improve and moved his left leg and finger. It's a remarkable feat for someone told they would never do that and a motivator to anyone with a heart.
Note: You can donate to the Jack Jablonski fund by heading to Jabby13.com or clicking on the logo at the top-left of our page.