Carson Soucy got a bit of a flashback Wednesday, when he ran into some old friends. Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin and winger Karson Kuhlman were at Xcel Energy Center for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s preseason news conference, giving Soucy — a former Bulldog — a chance to catch up.
As nice as it was, Soucy’s mind has turned firmly to his future with the Wild. The 6-4, 212-pound defenseman has played both preseason games, catching the eye of Wild coach Bruce Boudreau with his physical play and the strides he has made in his short time as a pro. Though Boudreau said Soucy “is going to need time’’ to adapt to the NHL game and will likely start the season with the team’s AHL affiliate in Iowa, he is excited at what the big defenseman could become.
A native of Viking, Alberta, Soucy was a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft and played four seasons at UMD.
“He’s a first-year guy, and defense is an awful hard position to come in as a first-year guy,’’ Boudreau said. “I think he’s going to need games in the American League. But he’s definitely a high prospect.’’
The competition for the final roster spots on defense is deep, but Soucy believes he can lend some muscle, energetic defense and quickness on breakouts.
“You want to try to make a lasting impression,’’ he said. “I’ve got to play the best I can in these exhibition games. And if I get sent down, make the best of that, play my minutes and keep working on what the coaches have to say.’’