If it weren't August and the dead of the off-season, we would be wondering about Jonas Brodin and things like "what is winter in Sweden like?" and "where he is going to play next year?" Unfortunately it is still August but the last question can possibly be answered.
Back in July, the Minnesota Wild 2011 first round pick discussed how he wanted to spend this upcoming season in the United States with Fox Sports North's Brian Hall and given recent events, it looks more and more like that will be case.
Oddly enough, the reason why it looks like Jonas could be North American-bound is because he's not here.
Brodin, who played on Sweden's gold medal-winning WJC team last year, remains in his native land as the rest of the likely 2013 team is in Lake Placid, NY this week to play a series of games against Finland and the United States. While it does mean that a Brodin-Mario Lucia Wild prospect v. Wild prospect battle gets put off for the second time this summer, there are other effects from Jonas staying in Sweden to practice.
(Speaking of Lucia, the 60th overall pick in 2011 scored a hat trick against Finland a day after discussing his first two pointless games. So there's that.)
Having a player who was an integral part of last year's team with eligibility (and who shined in a small role in the men's World Championship) just goes to show that Sweden doesn't expect him. It's not like this was planned and in fact, Jonas was named to Sweden's camp last month. There is always the case he gets added to the team in December if Minnesota isn't using him but for now the 2011 10th overall pick looks like someone who could be a leader left to his own devices.
Another sign that Brodin may be closer to his North America debut is that while he is in Sweden right now practicing with Farjestad, he's not playing in any exhibition games despite the 19 year-old being one of their top defensemen. While the Wild have 49 contracts out of 50 (the 50th would be for Brodin if he stays), not having a guaranteed spot with Minnesota - he's talented yet the team has 4 one-way defensemen and two who spent the season up there - doesn't seem to deter Jonas. It's still possible he uses the safety net for another run in Sweden but for now it looks like Brodin will end up in Houston or St. Paul.