St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Incoming rookie forward Mikael Granlund and other Minnesota Wild prospects wrapped up development camp on Sunday, with the former Finnish star excited to get back to St. Paul for training camp.
"It's a big dream for a little boy to get to the NHL, and now I have the contract and a chance to play for the Minnesota Wild," Granlund said. "It's a dream come true. I'm really excited, and I just want to work hard and be ready for the training camp."
The 20-year-old signed a three-year, $2.7 million entry level contract with Minnesota last May, and he has since become one of the organization's most talked about young players.
"He's a crafty little guy who I kind of compare to Pierre Marc-Bouchard a little bit," Wild goaltending coach and former UMD Bulldog Bob Mason said. "He's more of a disher, great skater, and he's got good puck control."
Granlund was the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft for Minnesota, but stayed in Finland after that to finish school and his required military service.
He scored 41 goals and had 86 assists across three seasons for his Finnish team, HIFK Helsinki, and was named the league's top rookie player in the 2009-10 season.
Also participating in the Minnesota development camp were Northland natives Brett Olson and Drew LeBlanc, as was former UMD Bulldogs forward Justin Fontaine.