A few thoughts on the Minnesota Wild developmental camp scrimmage game earlier Sunday...
Colton Gillies really learned a LOT last season in Houston. And it showed in this format. He really was playing like a man amongst boys.
Casey Wellman also played well above what he was last season. Of course, being the fifth oldest player in the camp, that helped, also. But he was moving well.
Nate Prosser looked very good also. Not as well as some (notably Tyler Cuma, more on that later) but he looked confident out there.
Justin Falk showed again the old Jacques Lemaire adage: 'You can't coach size.'
Brett Bulmer may just be thinking that his role in the NHL may be that of 'enforcer'. With all the hitting he did (some of which was really unnecessary), someone may just remember him down the road, especially if that player gets traded away from the Wild organization.
Erik Haula, bound for the University of Minnesota Gopher hockey program, almost pulled off a razzle-dazzle play by skating backwards with the puck, then pulling it back and clanking it off the crossbar in the post-game shootout.
Tyler Cuma showed (again) for the second straight year why he was drafted as high as he was. He was the best puck handler far and away of the defensemen, probably the best of any of the players out there. He's done with juniors now, so hopefully he'll handle one of blogger Ms. Conduct's Key Lime pies in Houston this winter, as well as he handled the puck today.
Marco Scandella did not play in either scrimmage, as he was suffering tendinitis in his ankle, but reports indicate he will be ready to go in September, at the Traverse City (Mich.) Prospects Tournament.
GM Chuck Fletcher and his staff have really had to scramble to fill the cupboard after the policies of ex-GM Doug Risebrough left the organization with a plethora of has-beens and never-will-be's. The future indeed looks bright as these young bucks develop into full-time NHL hockey players. For the Wild, they now have had a fresh look as to who(m) they wish to extend invitations to training camp. The future? Looks good to me.
Now, if we can only do something with James Sheppard...