Wed. May 29th, 2024

As the Minnesota Wild find themselves on uneven footing, stemming from early-season injuries, there has been one constant bright spot: their prospects. Another week of action has given us some relatively new names to examine while also providing a couple of individual performances worthy of attention. Here’s another week of hyping up the best prospect pool in the NHL.

Single Game Spotlight: Riley Heidt

There were more than a few fans thrilled to see the Wild steal Riley Heidt at 64th overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Heidt is a small playmaking center who looks like he will either be an effective top-six player in the NHL or struggle to make the leap to professional hockey and end up stuck in the American Hockey League (AHL). Fortunately, his two-points-per-game production rate is electric to watch, and it is basically a guarantee that he will find his name on the scoresheet every night.

Heidt was named the first star of the game for his role in the 7-5 Prince George Cougars dismantling of the Medicine Hat Tigers in an Oct. 22 barn-burner. He collected five points via four assists while also winning 69% of his faceoffs. He’s been a critical piece of the Cougars’ electric offense so far this season, but despite his 20 points, he ranks fourth on his team in scoring behind Zac Funk, Ondrej Becher, and rookie Terik Parascak. However, Heidt looks to be one of the Wild’s top prospects moving forward.

Wild-Affiliated Teams

Both Wild affiliates, the Iowa Wild (AHL) and Iowa Heartlanders (ECHL), were in action last week, and there are plenty of positives to talk about. The Wild’s AHL team faced a back-to-back against the Manitoba Moose and started strong with a 4-2 victory on Oct. 20. Jesper Wallstedt made 33 saves for a .943 save percentage (SV%), while Adam Beckman had a two-point night, with a goal and an assist. The defense got involved in both games as Simon Johansson, Carson Lambos, Ryan O’Rourke, and David Spacek managed to collect an assist in one of the two games despite the second game being an 8-2 defeat.

Minnesota Wild Prospects Report (The Hockey Writers)

The Heartlanders kicked off their campaign this week and it was Pavel Novak who came out hot despite losing both of their games to the Rapid City Rush. Novak was a fifth-round pick in 2020 and missed all of last season as he was busy beating cancer, but he looks as good as ever with two goals, an assist, and 11 shots on net in his first two games. If he continues at this pace it won’t be long before he finds himself back in the AHL.

Wild’s Best of the Rest

It would be a dull week if we didn’t talk about the trio tearing up the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in Rasmus Kumpulainen, Hunter Haight, and Servac Petrovsky. Both Kumpulainen and Petrovsky collected two points in three games, although the massive man from Finland’s (Kumpulainen) points were both goals, which brings him to four goals and eight points on the season. Haight was slightly less productive than we’ve come to expect from him, with just one assist in two games.

Related: 4 Minnesota Wild Overreactions to First 4 Games in 2023-24

Latest News & Highlights

In the college ranks, Wild fans were hoping for first-rounder Charlie Stramel to have a big season with the University of Wisconsin, but it is actually the overage fifth-round pick Aaron Pionk who is currently at the top of their NCAA prospect list. Pionk continues to light it up with six points in five games as a defenseman for the University of Minnesota-Duluth after he added a goal and an assist against the Bemidji State University Beavers on Oct. 20.

Another Busy Week Ahead

As leagues around the world are in full swing, it’s rare for a day to go by without a Wild prospect showcasing their talent. While tracking each player across various leagues can seem daunting due to the vast number of matches and different time zones, our dedicated team is on top of it all. From standout performances to crucial developments, rest assured that any significant updates on your favorite prospects will be comprehensively covered in the upcoming edition of the Minnesota Wild Prospect Report.

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The post Minnesota Wild Prospect Report: Pionk, Heidt, Novak, & More appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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