Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild signs Larsson to entry-level deal

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: May 24, 2011 - 11:33 AM

The Wild's signed 2010 second-round pick Johan Larsson to a three-year, $2.7 million deal. That's a $900,000 cap hit once he begins playing in the NHL. That includes a $90,000 annual signing bonus.

No need to go into the details, but his NHL salaries increase from year to year (totaling $2.7 mill) with games played bonuses adding up to $900,000. His minor-league salary is $67,500.

Larsson will attend this summer's development camp but is expected to return to play for Brynas in Sweden next year. The Wild wants him to attend part of training camp in the fall, but that will have to be negotiated with his Swedish club because the season starts so early over there.

Larsson started with the junior club over there last season, lighting it up one night with a hat trick with assistant GM Brent Flahr in the barn. He was ultimately promoted to the big team, where like most youngsters, he didn't get a lot of ice time. His ice time should increase next year. He played very well at the world juniors, playing center.

From the press release:

“We’re very excited to have Johan under contract,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “He’s a quality prospect with a good combination of skill, grit, and character. We look forward to having him in camp and monitoring his development going forward.”

Larsson, 18 (7/25/92), collected eight points (4-4=8) and 18 penalty minutes (PIM) in 43 games for Brynas IF Gavle in Sweden’s Elite League this season and added two assists in five playoff matches. The 6-foot, 198-pound native of Lau, Sweden, also racked up 15 points (6-9=15) in 10 contests with Brynas’ junior team in 2010-11. Larsson posted four points (1-3=4) and four PIM in six games as Sweden finished fourth at the 2011 World Junior Championship. He served as captain for Sweden at the Under-19 Three Nations Tournament collecting five points (2-3=5) in three contests and recorded 10 points (4-6=10) in four games at the Under-19 Five Nations Tournament to rank tied for first in scoring. Larsson ranked second in scoring at the 2010 Under-18 World Championship, netting 14 points (6-8=14) in five games as the team captain helped Sweden claim a silver medal. He tallied 34 points (15-19=34) and 80 PIM in 40 games with Brynas’ junior team in 2009-10.

Larsson was selected by Minnesota in the second round (56th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Also, tonight, the Houston Aeros hope to avoid coughing up a 3-0 series lead against Hamilton for the right to play Binghamton in the Calder Cup Finals.

Here's the story on the AHL's web site

Here's the preview from the Aeros

You can listen on aeros.com for free or watch on ahllive.com for a fee.

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