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  • Wild Sign Hot Prospect Riley Heidt To Rookie Deal

    Image courtesy of © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
    Thomas Williams

    While the Minnesota Wild are wallowing in the middle and most likely are going to miss the playoffs by just several points, they are securing some of their future players.

    First, they signed middle-tier prospect, center Rasmus Kumpulainen to his three-year, entry-level contract after having a decent post-draft season in his first taste of North American hockey with the OHL's Oshawa Generals. It isn't that exciting of a signing as he most likely will be taking the scenic route to the NHL -- a couple more years in junior hockey and then applying his trade to the AHL for the first time at the age of 20 -- but the Wild upped the hype factor on Saturday.

    Over the weekend, the Wild inked red-hot prospect Riley Heidt to his own three-year, entry-level contract after the outstanding season he had. The 18-year-old spent the 2023-24 season with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL, where he has scored 34 goals and earned 80 assists for 114 points in 65 games. Leaguewide, Heidt was ranked 19th in goals, second in assists and third in points. Heidt also became the third player in Cougars’ history to reach the 100-point mark and became the all-time assist leader in Prince George’s history this year.

    Just some normal stuff, scoring more points as an 18 year old in the WHL than star NHLers like Mark Stone, Sam Reinhart, Mat Barzal, and Leon Draisaitl. Completely normal.

    Heidt's future is pretty wide open. He seems too good for the WHL already and is ready to move on to the next step, but since he cannot play in the AHL and the Wild will already have young players like Danila Yurov trying their best to make the team, and a full season of Marat Khusnutdinov to consider -- with extremely limited positions available because all of the veterans Bill Guerin decided to keep around -- Heidt might just try to score 200 points in a development-stunted season in junior hockey.

    That's Wild

    • Making an NHL debut is hard. After you have played an entire season in the KHL, makes it even more difficult. But, Marat Khusnutdinov has come as advertised -- a hard-working center that cares more about possession and backchecking than showing off his flashy skills. [Hockey Wilderness]
    • The Wild holding a third-period lead doesn't mean anything this season. These late-game collapses have become a problem. [The Hockey News]

    Off the trail...

    • Sigh. Can the St. Louis Blues still make the playoffs? A check-in on where the standings are at right now.[ESPN]
    • A restriction for where prospects can play might be coming down. The rule that the NCAA won't allow former CHL players to play for college teams, might be soon lifted. [Sportsnet]

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    We know about Heidt but what about weight? 😀

    Gonna need to beef up 25-35lbs to mnfaninnc’s satisfaction once junior playoffs are over. 

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    This takes away a little of the sting of not (as currently reported) signing Petrovsky and letting him go back into the draft.


    OK, kid, let's see what you can do in St. Paul in September...

    Edited by bisopher
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    Maybe Heidt impresses in camp so much he has to be added to the roster.  It would be cool if he does, but it's good that both he and Kumpulainen are locked in.

    Be patient, and all this will work itself out.

    Faber gets a max deal (pretty much assured)

    Rossi gets a bridge or even his own Boldy/Ek deal (20-goal scoring rookie center: they better...)

    Khusnutdinov gets another year.

    Yurov/Ohgren maybe coming next season.

    Cap issues and missed playoffs be damned, there are still things to be happy about.


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    On 3/25/2024 at 8:44 AM, Protec said:

    We know about Heidt but what about weight? 😀

    Gonna need to beef up 25-35lbs to mnfaninnc’s satisfaction once junior playoffs are over.

    Heidt is a guy with a superb scoring touch and also a guy who likes the physical contact and getting into scrums. He's listed as 5'11" 183. It would not surprise me if he has grown an inch or 2, but to start out, I think he needs to be at 195ish. That's adding only 12 lbs. to his already listed weight, and he is at an age where he's starting to fill out.

    I think this is 100% doable for the prospect, and if he comes in chiseled at that weight, he should receive serious consideration for a roster spot. Now, starting him off on the roster does not guarantee he will stay there, he's got 9 games to prove himself. But, that's also 9 games a 20 year old can spend in the A before being called up.

    5'11" 195 is not a bad weight for an NHL forward, I'd say it's around average weight for his height. If he did grow an inch or 2, working towards 205 would be the goal, but he doesn't have to start there. With the propensity to lean towards contact, though, being larger at his height is preferred just to take on the physical punishment. He'd be at a canceling out weight with probably 75% of defenders. 

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