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  • Mikael Granlund is not living up to the hype


    Since then, Granlund's stock has done nothing but fall; last season was mediocre at best, and he's been anything but overwhelming so far. Granlund's 1.58 points-per-60 at 5v5 puts him at the 67th most productive center in the league.

    In fairness to the Mikael, he again is showing signs of turning a corner; since December 1 he has 7 points in 17 games, has controlled 51.5% of the shot attempts while on the ice, and is a +3 in penalty differential. If this sustains, we have a very capable player on our hands.

    But we've seen this before: Granlund is capable of amazing feats and good stretches, but they never last. Even with his subpar play, fitness issues, poor leadership and bad coaching, Ryan Johansen is producing faster than Granlund.



    Heads up: we're entering the section that is fairly stats-heavy, but the stats are not too fancy. Like Tony, I'll summarize at the end of the section


    Moving away from numbers, there are clearly issues with Granlund's game by the eye test. While he is fairly effective at moving with the puck (see last night's Pivotal Moment), his decision making is slow and questionable. He passes when he should shoot, shoots when he should move, and doesn't move when he's about to get slammed into the boards.

    It's possible that Granny just hasn't been able to make the mental adjustment from the larger European ice where he seems to thrive; perhaps the speed of the NHL is simply too much for him to handle. He holds on to the puck too long trying to force the issue, rather than keeping the puck moving and maintaining possession.

    To put it simply: he is decent at obtaining the puck, adequate at zone entries, but is bad at keeping possession. Adding to the list of problems, Granlund's shot is anything but dangerous. Supposedly he's worked on this, but it's possible we haven't noticed it simply because he isn't shooting when he should.

    Ultimately, Mikael Granlund is looking like a capable NHL player. He is not what we thought, however, and the Wild's search for the 1C of the future must continue.

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