2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Prospects: The Honorable Mentions
Posted by Nathan Wells on Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Back on Wednesday Dan and I kicked off the countdown of First Round Bust's top-twenty Minnesota Wild prospects...and now six days later we finally got back around to the honorable mentions. Sorry everyone, I don't like to make excuses but real life gets in the way sometimes.
So with that humble explanation in mind, lets start over again. In no particular order, here are a few guys who just missed the top-20 cut:
John Draeger: Minnesota's 2012 third round pick was the pillar of this year's Shattuck-St. Mary's team and will get a chance to show his defensive prowess on a defense-oriented Michigan State squad this fall. Draeger has more stay-at-home skills then other defensemen in the Wild system but at the same time needs to grow into a more consistent player before he cracks the top-20. Fortunately, there is plenty of time.
Colton Jobke: A training camp signee and former teammate of Brett Bulmer at Kelowna (WHL), Jobke got a chance last year in the playoffs to play for Houston after spending his overage season with Regina. Jobke exploded offensively in his final WHL season, scoring 29 points (10G-19A) in 71 games, but it remains to be seen how the organization can use the 20 year-old defenseman.
Adam Gilmour: There's a lot to like about Gilmour, a forward who was the Wild's fourth round pick in 2012. He is responsible on both ends of the ice, has speed and averaged more than two points per game in New England prep hockey last year. However, it's hard to tell what Gilmour will do against tougher competition that many other forwards in Minnesota's system have faced and that's why he's down on the list. Adam will play next year for Muskegon in the USHL before heading to Boston College in 2013.
Christoph Bertschy: The Swiss forward, who was selected in the sixth round of June's draft, has shined at moments yet disappeared in others. He has superb stickhandling and a high motor which allows him to shine playing for Bern of the Swiss League as an 18 year-old. However, being an undersized (5'10", 170 lbs) forward puts Bertschy at a disadvantage and limits his NHL potential.
Louie Nanne: The "2012 late round pick who was selected for long-term development" pattern continues with Nanne, the Edina native who Minnesota selected in the seventh round this season. Whatever you think of him, Nanne has a good work ethic but like most of his draft class is a work in progress. The forward will get a chance to work on his offensive game in Penticton (the same team which Mario Lucia played on last year) before heading to the University of Minnesota in 2013.
Stephen Michalek: The goalie, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Wild in 2011, struggled during his freshman season at Harvard after being put to the test. In 24 games, Michalek had an .894% save percentage and allowed over 3 goals per game on average. While he is used to facing shot upon shot upon shot and putting himself out there from HS and college, there is plenty to build upon with the goalie's sophomore campaign.
king of the secondary assist), Lorenz looks to transition his game into a more defensive-focused role as he begins his pro career with the Aeros. The Wild's fourth round pick in 2008 was signed to an AHL deal after graduating from Notre Dame this year and he has good size and mobility playing a position of need. Despite that, his ceiling is lower than other defensemen in the system.
Kyle Medvec: The 6'6" defenseman from Apple Valley, MN finished his first season with the Aeros after four years at the University of Vermont. Medvec brings size on the blue line and is able hold his own defensively. He does not have much offensive upside (scoring 4 points in 56 games last year), though.
Justin Fontaine: The former UMD Bulldog forward who helped lead Duluth to their first national title is the leading returning goalscorer for Houston this year. Not a bad effort for Fontaine in his first year of pro hockey. While he is smaller (5'10", 171 lbs), it hasn't limited him so far and between the Aeros, college and development camp he has shown that he can hold his own with top players.
Joel Broda: Broda is the annual prospect development camp MVP and didn't disappoint this year, scoring a pair of goals, and put up 14 as a 21 year-old in Houston. However, Broda is a good example of someone whose limitations doesn't leave a clear road to being a full-time NHLer outside of being an injury replacement.
Previous 2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Prospect Articles:
Photo Credit: Dave Reginek/CCHA