FRB Top 20 Prospects: #1...Mikael Granlund

(Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty)
Mikael Granlund, Center/Wing
Minnesota Wild
5'10" 186 Pounds, 2/26/1992
1st Round, 9th Overall 2010

Finally, after months of suspense occasionally posting, FRB is down to our #1 prospect in the pipeline, which is no surprise; Mikael Granlund. Currently in his second year with the organization, Granlund has shown growth and adaptation in his game after a rookie year that was filled with absurd expectations (thanks to the big club) and disappointing play.

After looking like he wasn't at all prepared for the speed and physicality of the North American game, Granlund's looked like a different player; his added speed helps him get to pucks, and he isn't afraid of taking the body. He's been centering the various incarnations of the 2nd line since Charlie Coyle's injury, although FRB feels that ideally he'd make a better wing.
With four assists so far this year, he is already gotten half of the points he did last year in his 27 game debut. At his peak, we feel he can be a 20 goal, 60-70 point player, but that depends on his usage and with who he plays with. He is getting 2nd unit power play time right now; and when Coyle returns, it will be interesting to see where he goes; he started the year on the 4th line and played well before he was bumped up. It could very well end up that he stays on the 2nd line but moves to the wing, which would put Dany Heatley on the fourth line.

With that said, it is a relief to see tangible improvement from last year to this year, and brings us hope that he can continue on that developmental trajectory.

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