Mikael Granlund, the Wild’s top prospect that fans have long awaited and will have to wait a little longer because of the NHL lockout, burst onto the scene as a North American pro tonight when he scored four goals and one assist in Houston’s 6-2 exhibition win at Oklahoma City.
Granlund played on a line with Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle, his linemates when the Aeros scrimmages in Minnesota last weekend and his likely linemate when the Aeros open the season against Charlotte on Saturday.
“He is fun to watch,” Aeros GM and Wild exec Jim Mill said in an email moments before Coyle, the QMJHL star in the second half last season whom the Wild got in the Brent Burns trade, scored his second goal of the night on a breakaway.
"Just a great move," Mill said.
Coyle and Zucker had two assists, and Marco Scandella had three assists.
As Tyler Cuma said on his Twitter @tcuma61, “Big team effort to close out the preseason with a win. Got my first viewing of the Granlund show and oh what a show it was.”
Tweeted Zucker at @jason_zucker16: “Great wins by the boys tonight. Granlund had an average night if you ask me. Should be a good year with this group if guys!”
The Aeros are down to their team. Mike Brodeur is in Orlando and John Curry has been released.
Wild fans, if you want to pay attention to the Wild’s prospects this Aeros’ season, in addition to the great @aero_joe, make sure to follow @hockeygalindo and @thejoshfisher on Twitter.
In other news, the Gophers, as expected, crushed Lethbridge 7-zip in an exhibition game. I wasn’t there, but I kept an eye on @romanstrib.
Christian Isackson, one of those fresman-turned-sophomores Don Lucia is hoping makes a big impact this season, had a natural hat trick. Seth Ambroz, Ben Marshall, Mark Alt and Sam Warning also scored goals. Michael Shibrowski and Adam Wilcox split the shutout.
Per Frank Mazzocco at @mazzpuck, the Gophers outshot whatever Lethbridge’s nickname is called 65-16.
The Gophers open the real season Friday and Saturday against Michigan State.