Reusse: Wild's less-heralded rookie Brodin is thriving in NHL

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2013 - 6:40 AM

While center Mikael Granlund has struggled, defenseman Jonas Brodin has shown maturity beyond his 19 years.

hide

Jonas Brodin, paired with veteran Ryan Suter on the blue line, has had a solid rookie season for the Wild.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Wild owner Craig Leipold reached deep to sign free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on July 4. The celebration erupted with Minnesota’s hockey fans, and so did theories as to how much the Parise-Suter pairing would mean for what had become a dreary on-ice product.

One of these was that, with the attention Parise and Suter would receive, the 20-year-old rookie forward from Finland, Mikael Granlund, could break into the lineup with less scrutiny and pressure.

So much for theories.

Granlund, now 21, was sent back to play with the Wild’s minor leaguers in Houston on Tuesday, after an ineffective 19-game start to his NHL career.

Fortunately, there’s another young man from the Nordic world — Sweden’s Jonas Brodin — who has done so much more than was anticipated on the Wild’s back line that Granlund’s rookie failings have been overshadowed.

Granlund was the ninth overall selection in the 2010 draft for the Wild. There was the same anticipation for his arrival among the W’s legion of loyalists as there had been for Ricky Rubio with the Timberwolves’ cubicle of survivors.

The Granlund hype here could be traced to the lacrosse-style goal that he scored in the semifinals of the 2011 World Championships. In Finland, a stamp was issued and a song recorded in honor of the goal.

In Minnesota, we watched the video and said, “What are you waiting for? Get him over here.’’

Granlund finally arrived. And he’ll be back. But for now, he’s an Aero, while the 19-year-old Brodin has become Suter’s steady left-hand man.

Suter was unfamiliar with Brodin until late August. That’s when Suter showed up for a couple of days of Octagon Hockey’s pro camp in St. Louis Park.

“There were some 5-on-5 drills and I noticed the way he was under control, how he kept all the simple plays simple,’’ Suter said. “I asked Darryl Sydor, ‘Who’s this guy?’ ’’

Sydor is the Wild’s assistant in charge of defensemen. His answer to Suter was also simple: “That’s Brodin, the kid from Sweden. He’s pretty good.’’

The owners imposed a lockout a couple of weeks later. For the veterans, it lingered for four months and reduced an 82-game schedule to 48. For prospects such as Granlund and Brodin, it meant playing in the AHL for the Houston Aeros.

Both were hurt in a game on Nov. 2. For Granlund, it was minor — a strained leg muscle. For Brodin, it was a broken collarbone that knocked him out of the Aeros lineup for 2 ½ months.

At that moment, anyone suggesting that in mid-March Granlund would be headed back to Houston and Brodin would be playing heavy minutes in his 22nd consecutive game on the Wild’s back line … that person would’ve been considered a bit woozy in the cranium.

Brodin returned from his injury for one game in Houston, and was promptly was called to the NHL for the Jan. 25 game in Detroit. He will play this entire season at age 19 — won’t turn 20 until July 12.

His playing time has ranged from 17:53 vs. Detroit on Feb. 17 to 24:51 on two occasions. For most of those NHL minutes, he has been paired with Suter.

“He was a little shy at first, I thought,’’ Suter said. “Now, he gets it.’’

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington - LP: D. Fister 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 8
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1
Boston - LP: T. Layne 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 5
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 8 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: Z. Wheeler 2
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 7
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: H. Noesi 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 6
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 5 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 4
Milwaukee - LP: Z. Duke 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: D. Thayer 3
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 3 FINAL
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 1
Miami - LP: H. Alvarez 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: H. Santiago 6
Colorado 2 Bottom 9th Inning
San Francisco 2
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close