Dynasty Hockey League

Top Four Prospects – Minnesota Wild [YR24]

When teams in the DHL are looking for the example of re-tooling on the fly, Chris’ Minnesota Wild is the stick where all is measured. The Wild endured a swift drop and a fast ascent during their re-tooling, in large part to deft trades, shrewd UFA signings and well-thought out draft plans. As Minnesota distances itself from the rebuilders of the league and secures their rank among the DHL’s best, let’s take a look at their top four prospects.

Ilya Sorokin (G)

The Wild’s best goaltending prospect has had tremendous progression since being drafted. However, it hasn’t been all Borscht and Honeycakes. Sorokin was the KHL’s best goaltender in 2015-16 and followed it up with another strong performance again in 2016-17. He’s proven himself as an elite goaltender in Russia’s top tier league and is arguably the New York Islanders’ best goaltender in their pipeline. That being said, concern is starting to grow that the success in the KHL is starting to dampen his willingness to come over to North America. In fact, Sorokin just extended his current KHL contract another two years and will be locked up in the Gulag until 2020. We all know sometimes these KHL contracts have out-clauses, so only time will tell. Regardless, Sorokin has the talent and athleticism to be a starter at the NHL level, but does he have the drive?

Vince Dunn (D)

What would be the adjective to describe the type of progression Vince Dunn has had since being drafted? I would lean towards “outstanding” or “fantastic.” Dunn has really come into his own and shown why scouts were raving about his hockey IQ and offensive ability. In his first pro-season, Dunn has managed to score 45pts in 72 games for the Chicago Wolves AHL team. He’s a talented skater, thinks the game at an above-average level and has offensive instincts for days. Many people in the Blues fandom are talking about whether Wallman, or Gunnarson will make the opening night roster but I’d say, don’t sleep on this young man just yet. It’s unlikely he’s a regular NHL defender for at least one to two more seasons, but he’s got the talent and apparently the offense in the pro-game to make some noise.

Josh Ho-Sang (F)

It became cleary obvious that the game of Hockey, specifically the NHL still isn’t ready for players with extreme confidence, no filter and will openly say what’s on the mind. Apparently the NHL and the majority of the fans just want to hear the same dull and boring post-game interviews that plague the 6am morning highlight reels. Ho-Sang has been vilified since he was snubbed form the Team Canada WJC camp invite years ago and dared to say it upset him. How dare he say something negative against Hockey Canada! While he’s endured many rough spots during his young career Ho-Sang is still sublimely talented and just starting to dive into the pro-game. In 2016-17, Ho-Sang split the season between the NHL (21 games) and AHL (50 games) scoring 10pts and 36pts respectively. There’s no doubt Ho-Sang is a wizard in the offensive zone, it’s his defensive awareness and attitude that will hinder his overall ceiling should he fail to improve. I personally think he’s a misunderstood young-man with a tremendous skill-set that will eventually figure it out. 2017-18 should again be a split season for Ho-Sang, where he’ll likely improve offensively and hopefully improve his game away from the puck as well.

Adrian Kempe (F)

Making this list by a hair (due to NHL games played), Adrian Kempe is in my opinion Minny’s best prospect for a few reasons. One, he’s NHL ready now, and likely to have a break-out season now that old-man winter is no longer the coach. Two, he’s got a high-ceiling, strong skating and the size to play the pro-game. Three, he’s had enough experience in the pro-game now to dive in and really prove his worth. Kempe never seemed offensively comfortable under Sutter’s coaching style in LA, and will look to prove his worth as a top-six forward in 2017-18. In his 25 games in the NHL this past season, Kempe struggled to show what he was capable of scoring only 6pts. However, given a new coach, system and philosophy, Kempe should find an home in an offensive role and start to thrive.

Tune in next week (or maybe as early as tomorrow night) as we take a look at a team from the Lemieux division. As always, comments opinions are always welcome. Who do you think are the top four prospects of the Minnesota Wild?

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