Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • WATCH: Fourth-Rounder Kiviharju to Guerin: "You Just Got the Steal Of the Draft"

    Image courtesy of Courtesy of Official Wild Twitter (@mnwild)
    Carlton Bloom

    Just one year ago, Aron Kiviharju was thought of as a top-10 player in the 2024 NHL Draft. A slow start in the Finnish Liiga, a kneecap dislocation that caused him to miss most of the season, and his slight 5-foot-9.5 frame caused the hyped prospect to tumble out of the first round. And then the second, and then the third. His fall stopped in the fourth round, when the Minnesota Wild nabbed him, even after trading down 12 spots from Pick 110 to 122.

    If you thought that would deflate Kiviharju, though, you're mistaken. The mobile defenseman is taking that personally and is already talking a big game to his new boss. The Wild social media team recorded the interaction and released it via Twitter.

    "Let me tell you one thing, man," Kiviharju told general manager Bill Guerin, who was barely able to give his congratulations before his new prospect leaned in. "You just made the biggest steal of the draft. I promise you that." After seeing the confidence and swagger, Guerin responded "Thanks, buddy. I know we did."

    Guerin walked back to Minnesota's draft table impressed with what he saw. "He just grabbed me and went 'You just made the [bleep] best steal of the draft." A Wild scout replies, "Oh, God, I love that." Guerin agreed. "That's great. Kid knows how to make a first impression."

    The video goes on to highlight the reactions of other Wild prospects, including fifth-round goalie prospect Chase Wutzke. Wutzke, who has Métis ancestry, spoke about his role in inspiring Indigenous athletes to make the NHL. "It's huge, you don't see many [Indigenous players] now, and I feel like when there's some guys like myself who can do it and prove they can do it, it really helps."

    Minnesota's done a great job of taking fans behind the scenes to show off the players' unique personalities, and it looks like this draft will produce no shortage of great personalities and stories to watch as these prospects develop.

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    • Like 3

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    Hopefully he will use the detractors and draft to prove people wrong. That's great swagger but Laine was the same way. 

    Just prove it on the ice. Get something going to improve the speed and agility. If he wants it bad enough and can stand out in a good way, great!. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    So, immediately after this conversation with Guerin, the kid goes to the training table to get stretched into a 6'2" athlete. The weight will come by next season, he plans to be 210.

    Overcoming his size will be his main issue. Why? because there's a guy named Zeev Buium ahead of him on the depth chart and they play a similar game. 

    I like the kid, but he's really got to thicken, and he's absolutely got to get his top gear back. 

    So, lesson #1, go and get as much tape as you can on Jared Spurgeon. Find out what makes him so good, and what you can do just like him. This was something that Addison was not willing to do. 

    From reading up on the prospect, he is said to be very mature for his age. I wonder if he looks 14 like Spurgeon does? While he was out with his knee injury, he was looking to improve other parts of his game where he was weak. He seems like he's got a Rossi work ethic. 

    Who knows, maybe he can be a difference maker. What I don't want to see, though, is something similar on the left side of our defense where our largest guy is 180 lbs. That means you've got nobody who can defend hard when needed on that side of the ice. Maybe one of these guys can play their off side? 

    One thing is for sure, he won't be ready before Spurgeon's contract is up. Maybe we can carry another smaller guy.

    • Haha 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    He might get a little closer to 6'. 

    If he's smart and coachable, that's a big plus. I wanted to see more size added at forward but these players are pretty hard to criticize for the places they were picked. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    You know, I kinda want every player we draft under 6 feet tall to have 10-15 year careers with the team and play to Spurgeon's level of quality or better just to spite people.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    People freaking out about another undersized player (spurgeon)  as the team has too many.  

    I see it as 4th rounders are likely a bust, and this kid is the probability of maybe a 2nd rounder.  We don't need him to play on the team.  We just need to build more NHL level prospects for trade bait, to keep the pool going for many years to come.  We wont be able to keep all the prospects we already have by say 2026-2028.  Maybe its mostly a surplus of bottom 6 ers and 3rd pairing D.  But there might be a few surprises of the ~20 prospects that arent expected to be top 6 players.  Whether Bankier or Haight or Lorenz or Peart or Lambos or Knutz,  we just need 1 or 2 to become impact players.  We already got yurov, ohgren, Buium, Rossi, Heidt as impact players to down right rock stars.  Worst case scenario, there is a logjam of bottom 6 ers forcing them all to go 110% in order to fight for spots.  yay.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...