According to Star Tribune beat writer Michael Russo the Minnesota Wild's top prospect Mikael Granlund will be staying in Finland this year and not coming to North America to play. This is going to be a disappointment to many Wild fans because the Wild are starved for offense and this kid is proving to be the real deal which is evident from his lacrosse style goal in the video above.
Michael Russo; Star Tribune ---Despite Mikko Koivu's attempt to persuade him to play for the Wild next season, highly touted 19-year-old Mikael Granlund will remain in Finland another year, one of his representatives said Thursday.
"The game plan is he's going to be entering the army and fulfilling his service and finishing high school, and we'd come over a year from now," agent Todd Diamond said.
"Mikael prefers when he comes over to Minnesota, hockey is the only thing he needs to focus on in his life. He wants to get all these so-called housekeeping things out of the way and, a year from now, get ready to hopefully crack the lineup."
Diamond said Granlund has received permission from the Finnish Army to attend the Wild's July 10-17 development camp. Diamond said the plan is to sign "this time next year."
"We believe Minnesota is a really good spot for him and the right environment for him to succeed in the future. It's the Finland of the United States in some ways," Diamond said.
Granlund, the Wild's first-round draft pick in 2010, helped lead HIFK to an SM-Liiga championship, then Finland to a world championship.