From: Twin Cities
Here is a very long read from Russo on the Athletic about our prospects.
Q&A: Wild’s Brad Bombardir breaks down their suddenly deep prospect pool
By Michael Russo 2h ago 15
Better late than never, eh?
As many Wild fans know because I’ve mentioned it on my podcasts a number of times, I conducted an expansive Q&A last month with longtime Wild director of player development and former Wild defenseman Brad Bombardir about the Wild’s deepening prospect pool.
We picked a good day to finally run the gargantuan piece: the Wild signed prospects Adam Beckman and Damien Giroux to their three-year, entry-level contracts Monday.
Beckman, 18, won the Bob Clarke Trophy as the Western Hockey League’s scoring champion this past season by amassing 107 points in 63 games for Spokane. He also led the WHL with 48 goals and 316 shots on goal. He ranked second with 16 power-play goals and nine game-winning goals, tied for third with 59 assists and finished fifth with a plus-44 rating. The forward recorded 32 multi-point games and had at least a point in 33 of his last 36 games (35 goals, 69 points). He had three five-point games, recorded an 18-game point streak and tied Spokane’s franchise record with a 10-game goal streak.
Beckman is expected to return to Spokane next season; he’s too young to play in the AHL, so Beckman is only eligible to play in the NHL or WHL. At last year’s draft, former GM Paul Fenton traded the Wild’s 2020 third-round pick to Nashville for the 2019 third-round pick he used to draft Beckman.
Giroux, 20, captained the Saginaw Spirit last season and tied for sixth in the OHL with 44 goals and tied for first with 10 game-winning goals. He tied for first on the Spirit with 11 power-play goals and finished third with 75 points. The 2018 fifth-round pick is eligible to turn pro or return to junior, but GM Bill Guerin told The Athletic it has been decided that he will turn pro.
NEWS: #mnwild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the club has signed forwards Adam Beckman and Damien Giroux to three-year, entry-level contracts.
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From 2013-17, in an attempt to “win-now,” the Wild traded 11 draft picks, including two first-round picks, four seconds and two thirds. Add in the fact that they lost first-round pick Alex Tuch in an expansion draft trade, and the Wild’s prospect depth took a big hit.
One of the best things Fenton did in his two drafts and 14 months as GM was resist the temptation to further trade picks. The Wild selected 16 players in the past two drafts and signed college free agents Nico Sturm and Mat Robson.
So, with more bullets in the chamber, the Wild had a better chance of hitting the target and suddenly the Wild’s prospect pool is starting to climb the charts.
Add in prospects from the Chuck Fletcher-Brent Flahr regime like Kirill Kaprizov, Ivan Lodnia, Brandon Duhaime and Nick Swaney and the fact Guerin acquired a second first-round pick in the 2020 draft and prospect Calen Addison, suddenly there’s a lot to like coming down the pike.
You’ve waited long enough to hear from Bomber, so here we go (one thing to note, this interview took place Feb. 6, so prior to the Jason Zucker trade, which is why Addison is not talked about in here).
Just by pure numbers, is it fair to say this is about as deep a pool as you’ve had in your 10 years as director of player development?
Yeah. It really is. I’m not going to sit here and say anything different probably. The more numbers you have, the better your chances are as well. But I give our scouting staff credit. Those guys work hard, man. With the picks and with the opportunity to make those selections, they’ve gone out and they’ve done their homework and found some really good players for us. Really good character guys, to be honest with you. Really, just good people to start with. And, then some good players. The credit goes to them. They’ve done the work, and I think all of us, it’s nice to have some players right now playing and playing well and producing and have the opportunity to play at the next level. It’s fun.
Let’s dive right into the players, and let’s start off with Kirill Kaprizov (the KHL’s leading goal scorer the past two seasons vying for a second championship). We were just talking to Ilya Kovalchuk about him. It just seems like this guy has the ability to come here and be an impact player right off the hop.
Yeah, you would think so. He’s proven himself at all the other levels, right? In the KHL, he’s proven it on the international stage. So, we’re excited about him. We remain hopeful and excited that we will see him in a Wild jersey because he appears to be a special player. He competes, which is huge, and he’s got all the other assets and attributes offensively. Quick hands. Quick head. Strong, wide base to him and the agility to create space for himself in the offensive zone. You see the plays he makes and how he gets pucks to the nets, he’s been an outstanding player.
He’s turning 23. Do you expect that he’ll be able to be impactful right away or will it take time?
That’s the thing. You just hope that people are a little patient with him because the NHL’s a monster, too. I mean, the NHL is a tough league to play in. But from what he’s proven with the players that he’s played with, and he’s played with NHL players on some of the teams that he’s played with, he’s performed very well. All things look great for him, and we’ll be excited to see him. We’ll be excited to see him in a Wild jersey and for him to play for us. He’s the type of player we need, you know that.
Kirill Kaprizov (Bjorn Larsson Rosvall / TT via AP)
How about Alex Khovanov (finished second in the QMJHL with 99 points and 67 assists to potential 2020 No. 1 overall pick Alex Lafrenière)? For all the adversity he’s gone through the last couple of years, from hepatitis A to having the benign tumor taken out of his leg before last year’s training camp, to see him lighting it up in the Q has to be incredible.
Yeah, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it? I don’t think you could make some of that stuff up, the stuff that he’s gone through. This summer, we found out that he wasn’t feeling too well and then had the opportunity to take care of him and then make sure he got healthy. He wasn’t feeling very good the second half of the year last year, right?
Yeah, it sounds like everybody thought he had a back injury and then after further examination, this was discovered?
Yeah, yeah. It turned out to be that leg. It was an osteoid osteoma, and he never really complained about it that much. What happened with him is every time he would just kind of let it rest for a while, it felt good. It would go away. But now he’s healthy. He’s, offensively, very gifted. Sees the ice really well. He’s really good on the power play. At the level he’s playing at right now, he’s two steps ahead a lot of nights, especially offensively with the puck. Very creative offensively. Competitive. Really competitive, actually. The one thing with him, he just needs to find the higher pace to play at times. He’s a smart enough player, and I think at that level he tries to buy some time and space, in delaying. At the next level, he’ll be getting pushed a little bit more from the back end coming up the ice, right? But he’s smart enough. He’s a quick enough thinker to pick up on that. He’s another type of offensive, creative, competitive player that we need.
He’s going to have to start in Iowa most likely, right?
Yeah. It’s really hard for most guys to come over and just walk into the National Hockey League. You’ve got to remember, I mean, he’s still 19 years old, right? He still has things to learn. Still, just his fitness level and pace of play can improve. I don’t see anything bad about playing in the American Hockey League and doing the work. The American Hockey League is a frickin’ heck of a good league. It’s a really good league, and it’s tough to play in. So, absolutely. All these guys, they have to learn how to play and play the right way.
Have you guys communicated that to him? Because the one thing, I had John Torchetti on my podcast and he kinda scared some Wild fans into thinking this could be Kaprizov all over again, saying that when he coached him in Moncton, Khovanov kinda threatened to go to the KHL because coincidentally CSKA Moscow — Kaprizov’s team — owns his rights. So, now maybe there’s this fallacy that he’d bail if you tried to put him in Iowa.
I’m not worried. I think Alex wants to play in the National Hockey League. Alex wants to play in the National Hockey League and he’s competitive enough. He’s a competitive enough person. He’s a good, quality person. I’ve gotten to know him over the last couple of years. He wants to try to find a way to play in the NHL. I think he’s willing to do the work and to be in the right spot in order to improve on his game to play.
By the way, Kaprizov can play left or right wing. Khovanov, do you see him solely as a center?
Kovo can be a center. He can play center in the National Hockey League.
Is it definitely Kovo? Because, Torchetti pronounces it “Hovanov,” with that funny New England accent.
I don’t know (laughing). I call him Kovo. That’s what I call him. But some guys call him … Torch calls him Havi, right? Kovo. Hovo. Havi. The poor kid probably doesn’t know who the hell is talking to him or how to pronounce his own name anymore.
Alex Khovanov (Jeff Vinnick / NHLI via Getty Images)
How about Matt Boldy? At least statistically, he’s had a tough year, although he’s started to heat up lately. (Note: He really, really started to heat up after this interview, finishing with seven goals and 10 assists in his final 11 games).
Yeah, yeah. He has. Statistically, it’s been tough for him. He’s probably a little snakebit. I will be honest with you, it’s amazing — it really is — the amount of opportunities that he’s had to even score or set up plays that just haven’t gone his way. He probably should have more points. If you want to look at points, he probably should have more points than he really does, to be quite honest with you. But he is playing really well. He’s just an 18-year-old kid coming right into college hockey and playing in Hockey East, playing in Boston College, that’s a good league. The pace of play and then how they have to play is a little bit different than where he came from.
When you watch him play, he’s a high-level, quick thinker with a puck. The puck comes on a stick and it’s off, he can read plays quickly offensively and find lanes to find sticks and produce scoring opportunities. His game is puck protection. Creating offense along the offensive wall down below the circles, he’s really good. Really good. A high-end thinker down there. He just has to find the middle of the ice a little bit more … with himself, too, at times because you know what it’s like in the NHL. A lot of those goals are scored from the top of the circles and inside the dots and down, right? He’s just got to find that area a little bit more to find that success, and points will come for him, for sure.
Hardworking kid, though. Love his attitude and his willingness to get better. But yeah, that’s an area that he needs to improve upon, like most other guys, to be honest with you.
Boldy, you project where, because it seems like he has bounced around at BC?
Boldy. Boldy, for me? You’re asking me? (laughing). Boldy, he would project as a winger, right now. He’s wing now. He started at center. We have no problem. Put the kid at center, let him play center. I think it’s always advantageous if you can have guys play center. Learn to play that position, because it’s a tough position to play. Not many guys can actually play center when they get to the National Hockey League. You’ve seen it. It’s tough to find centers. Ultimately, he’s probably a winger, which is fine. Let him do his work down in the offensive zone, along the walls, create plays, protect pucks and hold on to pucks and extend offensive opportunities. That’s what he’s good at.
This Adam Beckman kid. Man, what a year he’s having, huh? Leading the WHL in it feels like everything.
Yeah. He’s a heck of a find by our scouting staff. Really quick off the walls in the O-zone. Has the ability to come out of there and create shots and scoring opportunities coming off the walls. And he’s got a really good, quick shot. Really, just good overall hockey sense. Good instincts, I guess, would probably be the best way to put it. Good instincts with vision and good hands. I mean, he’s doing everything right now. He just needs to get a little more quickness in his skating. But I think that’ll come. He’s a pretty thin guy right now. He’s not a big body, which is good. It’s fine. He can grow into it as long as he starts gaining some strength first, right? Strength before size, I always say. I think it’s important. If you have strength, it’s good, and if a little bit of size comes along, then great.
For us, he needs to just improve upon his strength a little bit more. And he plays a ton there, too, as well. There can be some loose moments in this game, in the D-zone and even offensively. But those kids, you see that a lot in junior. They’re just trying to create offense for the team, and they play a lot, so sometimes they have to try to find ways to preserve their energy. But he’s having a heck of a year, man. He’s skating well and producing offense. He’s got confidence. … Yeah, that’s a great job by our scouting staff there.
Recording 107 points, @mnwild prospect @AdamBeckman9 of the @spokanechiefs is the 2019-20 WHL Scoring Champion!
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How have you seen Nico Sturm’s development this year in Iowa?
Nico is very close. He’s already played games in the NHL. I think he’s proven that he can play the NHL game. I mean, you know him, you’ve talked to him, right? He’s about as pro-ready as you can find. He’s got a pro mentality. He’s always prepared. He’s a student of the game. And he’s always working to get better. He’s always working to try to find a way to get better every day with the coaches down there, and he works. And you’ve seen him on the ice, he gets in on pucks and he’s got good speed, good legs, which we need. He’s done everything well.
Do you see him at this level being a point-getter or do you see him being a third-line guy? I mean, he has a frame like Mikko Koivu, but Mikko was a special point producer early in his career and a first-round pick. Nico is an undrafted college free agent, so I’m not sure I see that ability in him, although Mikko had to bide his time his rookie year as fourth-line center.
Yeah, it’s tough. You see Nico starting, probably as a 4 (fourth-liner) as well. You bring him in, you let him play as a 4, a 3, back to a 4, in that spot and then just see how he grows. It’s funny how we try to figure out how these guys are and how they’re going to respond, but I see it all the time where you got guys that you sign that you’re not sure about and all of a sudden they turn pro and they’ve just got it. There’s a switch that goes off where they’re just really good pro players, and there’s other guys that you think will be a really good pro player or that can excel and they end up being good players, but they’re not able to excel their game at the NHL level or enough to get to the NHL. At a minimum, Nico should play at the next level. What he is from there, we’ll see. If Nico, you bring him in there and if he can find a way into the 4 spot and work his way from there, let’s see what happens with him. …
He’s learning. He’s starting to manage his timing and space a little bit better too. Because he’s such a worker that sometimes early in the year he was taking his own space away from him, but even now up in the NHL there and even down there in the AHL, he’s really improved upon that as well.
How about Kaapo Kahkonen? What a year.
He is, man. We drafted him and he’s 23 years old, a frickin’ fourth-round draft pick. I remember him from the first development camp. He probably wasn’t in the best shape and a little slow off the bat, but I give him all the credit, man. That kid came back every year in better shape, worked on his feet and worked on his craft and he kept improving his game and now he’s even done it at this level. I think we’ve seen improvements just on the way he is on ice. Just his positioning is much better, his competitiveness is there.
He just keeps continuing to grow and get better. Those goalies take a little bit longer, right? You just got to give them a little bit longer of a leash. But I think he’s proven his worth down here. He gives the team down here an opportunity to win every night. And, so we like him. I think he’s played pretty well up there in the NHL when he’s come up and played, so yeah, we’re excited about him.
Kaapo Kahkonen (James Carey Lauder / USA Today)
This may be more of a Bill Guerin question, but when do you give him the next step when you have Devan Dubnyk with another year on his deal and Alex Stalock with another two?
That would be a Billy question. I’ll let him deal with that. But, goalies, for me personally, they just take a while, right? And you have to be patient with them and they have to be patient with the process of getting better because they need to play. That’s the thing, they need to play games. So, I think that’s the most important thing, especially when you’re still young. I mean, a 23-year-old goalie still needs to play games. He needs to get his reps and feeling the puck a lot.
A undrafted find by you guys in Fletcher’s last year, Brennan Menell — why has he had such a good year?
Yeah, you know what, the kid frickin’ just continues to show well. He made the All-Star Game down here, and he continues to put up points. So poised with the puck, really good offensively, really good on the power play on the blue line. Just shows a great feel for moving the puck and finding lanes and creating little lanes in order to find scoring opportunities. And even just poised with the puck down in the defensive zone and making little outlet plays to get pucks up and moving and getting them out of our own end. He does that really well.
And for him, he just needs to really find a stronger base to his game, physically. Not a tough game or anything like that, but just stronger to kind of end plays probably a little bit more and then probably just be stronger in holding his positioning and holding his ice and working on just physical battles and just keeping bodies outside the front of the net a little bit longer. I think that’s where he needs to just find that. He still has a ways to go in that area, but for being 22 years old and having his third year pro already, he’s turned himself into a good player and a prospect. I think he came up there to the NHL and performed quite well up there, too.
So just little bits and pieces here as he goes, but he’s getting better and some of the things that he does you just can’t teach. With the puck and poise, I don’t know if you can teach poise. I haven’t figured that out yet, but certainly I’m not the one to teach it.
Brennan Menell’s solo lap before his NHL debut for the #mnwild
7:30 PM - Dec 10, 2019
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We hear about so many of your college guys, but this Vladislav Firstov kid from Russia seems to have had a real good first year UConn.
He cracks me up, the kid’s always smiling, eh? He just cracks me up. He doesn’t have a bad day. He just smiles all the time. He’s an awesome kid. I love the kid. He has just kind of taken off here. It took a little bit of feeling-out process for him. He’s young, 18 years old, coming out of the USHL, playing in Hockey East, gaining the trust of your coaches a little bit to put you out there in certain opportunities, obviously defensively, right? And he had a really raw game early and he still does, but the second half here, he’s found a little confidence in his game and he’s actually starting to play with his feet now. He wanted to try to make a lot of plays with his hands … without some speed and without moving his feet and trying to create some space for himself. He just had those USHL skilled player habits. It’s not easy. You just can’t all of a sudden get up the next day and be done with it. When it works for ya, it works for ya. That’s what he was able to do at his previous level.
But now he’s starting to move, and the coaches have shown a lot of trust in him and the coaching staff has done an outstanding job with him, and they’re playing them a lot now. They really like him, and I think just his confidence has come and now he’s starting to learn to play a little faster and move with the puck and trying to work to be a difference-maker in the games. …
Now, it’s all about the feet with him. … He’s a smart enough player and he’s got good hands and good skill and he can make plays when he’s moving. He can be an effective player and he’s turned out to be that right now.
Let’s talk Filip Johansson. Last year’s first-round pick has been scrutinized but he impressively came to Iowa during last year’s playoffs just for a week or so to see what it was all about. You can tell he wants to be an NHLer. On social media you can tell how much he follows you guys and follows things I write about the team, which is a good sign that he wants to make it. Where is he with his development?
He just needs some time. I know it’s been an interesting journey for him so far, but we still believe in him. We still think he’s a good player. You feel that he can play. The things he does well, he does well. He’s got really good feet. He moves well. And his first pass coming out of the (defensive) end is a strength of his as well. So, if you have all those three things, there’s a base there to his game. Now he’s got things to work on obviously, but for those three things, and the base, you look at him as a pro player. We feel just with some patience and if he just continues to work and just patience on his end and our end, we feel that he can still improve and become a good player for us. It’s just going to take time. And you got to remember, he’s just 19, right? (Note: He turned 20 on Monday). I mean, he’s a young kid. He’s European, so we have four years after his draft year to sign him.
Is there going to be a point though where you’re going to want to sign him and get him over here to just get your eyes and hands on him?
Yeah, there will come a point. This isn’t a decision that can be made today, but it is a decision that we’ll obviously have to make here in the future. For us, it’s all about opportunity for him and reps and working on his game that way. That would be the deciding factor for us to see when he comes over or if he stays over there (in Sweden). That’s the No. 1 thing for us, is if he’s in a good situation where he’s going to be able to improve and get his reps both in practice and games and do it that way. So, there’s really not a huge timeline on him quite yet, just because we have the opportunity with time right now to let things play out. But that will definitely be something that we have to tackle in the future here and just make sure that he’s got every opportunity to continue to improve.
You still consider Mason Shaw a top prospect even after all the adversity the poor guy has gone through?
Absolutely. I know he’s just coming back right now from that third knee injury, but he’s a good, little player … and, man, so competitive. I love the guy. I love him. He’s just a little engine. So hopefully, he can just stay healthy. He needs just to stay healthy for a couple of years, right? He can play.
Suddenly, for the first time in a long time, you’ve got a bunch of goalies in the system — Kahkonen, Mat Robson and now Hunter Jones. We wrote a lot about Robson last season after you got him from the University of Minnesota. Tell me about Jones. Alex Stalock was telling me how blown away he was by watching the kid in training camp.
Jonesy, unbelievable, great start to his season up there (with Peterborough in the OHL). I think we all just like his size (6-foot-4), obviously. Really good poise — he’s got a really calm demeanor. Sees the play really well. You rarely ever see him have to make big, acrobatic saves, and that’s mainly because he anticipates the play very well. He can make reads quickly and get across, and stay big and challenge, and plays that way. Sometimes you fall in love with guys that make all these acrobatic saves, but you wonder why they have to make those acrobatics saves sometimes. And he’s one of those guys that really sees the play well, and anticipates it, and can get big.
We like him. He’s still young, but we’re happy with where he’s at because he plays a lot. He plays a lot of minutes, and like other goalies, you have to be patient with them, and they need their games and their reps and he’s getting it there in Peterborough, for sure.
Louie Belpedio (James Carey Lauder / USA Today)
What other guys down in Iowa have really impressed you?
I like Louie Belpedio. Louie’s a good player. These freaking two kids down here: Connor Dewar and Brandon Duhaime. They’re good. Duhaime, he’s just a power forward, good skating, competitive, tough, little sneaky skill to his game. And then Dewar … great skater, very smart, intelligent, team’s best killer down there probably, already. And, offensively, he dominated last year. I think he had (81) points last year in the WHL. He’s showing very well, too, down here.
Belpedio is strong, and he’s competitive, too. It’s just with him, it’s just being confident, and finding confidence in the simplicity of the game sometimes. And just defending, and getting pucks up the ice. But when he came out of Miami (University), when we brought him out, like a lot of other guys, he was playing. I was there for a weekend, he played 35 minutes on the one Friday night, and he almost played 40 minutes the Saturday night. So, just think of finding a way to survive and playing that kind of hockey, like the type of habits that you end up introducing into your game just for survival. Just gaps, and all this kind of stuff. But we have full confidence in him. He can go up and give you games in the NHL, and perform well. He’s done it already. He’s proven.
Lastly, let me ask you about three other guys — Robson, Ivan Lodnia and this Damien Giroux who’s lighting it up in the OHL. Do you look at all three as top prospects?
Well, Robson for sure. Robson is absolutely. He was a big signing for us last year. He’s come in here, and in games, he’s played very well on most nights. Now, he’s had some young nights where things don’t go as well for him. But to go from college, and to go to here, and play as well as he has for most nights, I think he’s done quite well. For him, it’s just the everyday, pro mentality of being ready to work in practice and being on top of your game in practice. That’s the biggest thing for him to continue to work on. … But he’s done well. I was in Chicago in January, and we ended up winning the game in Chicago. I counted five Grade-A chances in the third period, and he stopped all of them. So, he’s a gamer. …
Lodnia’s having a good year up in the OHL. Skill, he’s a skilled player. We like him. He can produce offense. He’s just going to have to learn how to play just a little bit more pro-style game. … I know it’s kind of boring, but just puck management will be the area that he needs to learn the most at. But like a lot of typical junior hockey players, skilled junior hockey players that come out of junior hockey, they’ve been able to make plays, and not at will, but there’s a lot more opportunity for them to be successful offensively there and to be able to take advantage of the competition there than it is here. It’s a little tougher at this level. …
Giroux, unreal character, a great leader. Honestly, you can play him with anybody. You can play him with your team’s best players, you can play him with other guys, and he’ll perform really well. And really, really smart two-way player — can play the defensive side of the puck really well, smart, and can also play offensively, produce offensively, as long as he’s moving. He’s not a big guy. He’s not overly big. If he’s moving, then he can create offensively. He’s got really good net habits. For a guy his size, he goes to the net a lot and sticks around the front of the net, and has good habits that way, and has better skill than what most people probably think. Now the thing for him, he just needs to continuously work on the skating. His quickness is good. It’s just probably the glide. But it’s gotten a lot better over the last two years. He’s a worker. Yeah, I like him. Honestly, he’s the type of person you want in your organization.
How much of your job is sometimes being a psychologist? I think you mentioned before that with even Kahkonen you have had to talk to him about patience in the process. I’m sure even though they’re not considered “prospects” because of their age, you’ve had to talk to guys like Gerry Mayhew and Sam Anas. How much do you have to settle these guys down at times when they feel it’s about time they’re playing in the NHL?
Well, you always are having conversations with your guys, and guys in junior, the younger guys especially, you just need to talk to them. And you try to talk to them through experience, I think, is important because you can gain their trust and be there. I’ve been through it. You end up starting to play junior hockey, and you end up going to college for four years, and playing in the minors for three full years — never, not one call up, not ever. And my fourth-year pro, you end up making the NHL, and you have a hard time just hanging on. You try to just talk to them about your experience, and just the patience of it.
The world we live in right now is a little different. These guys are, I think, challenged by it, and the expectations that they’re surrounded by. It’s just everything moves so quickly now. I think it’s just a part of their lives. I mean, I’ve got a 21-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old daughter, so I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it. I see it every day where they expect everything should just come to them so quickly now. I think the best thing for them is they just have to understand and learn that they do have the opportunity to get better every day. And it might not be very much, but there’s an opportunity there. Now, if you don’t do the work, there’s also an opportunity to get worse. You just have to find patience in it, and patience in the fact to find what you can do today to just get a little bit better in your game, or your off-ice preparation. It’s not easy.
Everyone wants to play in the NHL right now and today. But if you do the work slowly and you continue to get better every day, your chance usually comes if you’ve done the work. Now, when the chance comes, what do you do with it?
How good is this Iowa team? You probably have a legit chance to win it all down there?
Yeah, it’s a good club. They’re playing hard, man. It’s fun to watch. Really, they’re just a good group of guys, and they play hard, man. That’s what I love the most. We’ve got some good players, and the power play and the PK are excellent, but they just play hard for each other. I just love seeing that. It means a lot. It makes a difference. It really does. These guys care about one another here. It’s fun to be around. It’s good energy.
Note: The Wild have a number of other prospects The Athletic did not address with Bombardir, including Addison, St. Cloud State’s Sam Hentges, Cape Breton’s Shawn Boudrias, Guelph’s Fedor Gordeev, Chilliwack’s Nikita Nesterenko, Boston College’s Jack McBain and Marshall Warren and University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Nick Swaney. All had strong to respectable seasons and could someday sign contracts with the Wild.
(Top photo of Adam Beckman: Alika Jenner / Getty Images)