26 December 2011

A World Juniors confession from a Minnesota hockey fan...

I try to be a good blogger, but the truth of the matter in my time as a Minnesota Wild fan, I have largely ignored the prospects.

The NHL draft (and MLB draft as well for that matter) is different than its NBA or NFL counterparts. Usually, outside of the first 2 or 3 picks, most of the players selected are not NHL ready, and they will be sent back to their college teams or to their Junior teams. So it's easy to see why there isn't the casual interest in the NHL draft as there is in the other sports, where those players are expected to be with the big club right away (there isn't really a "farm system" for the NFL and NBA like there is in baseball and hockey).

The other reason is that frankly, from a Wild perspective, there just hasn't been a lot to be excited about among the Wild's prospects under Riseborough's leadership. First Round Bust is more than happy to document Wild prospects being rushed into the NHL like James Sheppard.

I do try and take a peek at what is going on in the AHL with the Aeros, and I have made a point to check out the Aeros in all 3 of their Xcel Energy Center apperances. But that's because it's pretty easy to see those players are soon to be in Wild jerseys, at leas as all ops. Beyond the AHL, though, I never focused on the prospects in college or in Juniors.

But this is the season I change that. We now have DirecTV in my household and I just love having NHL network, and the World Junior championships are yet another reason why. Again, First Round Bust has a great primer for Wild fans about the prospects to watch (most seem to be on team USA or Finland), so read that I won't try to duplicate it.  Read it and get excited!

Team USA takes on the bottom seed Denmark tonight at 7pm, Finland takes on hosts Canada in the tournament opener at 2:30pm. Then on Wednesday at 2:30pm is the US v Finland, a chance to see so many Wild prospects in one place.

I'm getting excited for this.

What do you think?

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