StaTuesday: Mikael Granlund on pace for Wild season

Standing out in 2010, a draft class that also produced Tyler Seguin, Taylor Hall and Vladimir Tarasenko — two of the league’s best scoring wingers, flanking a top-five center — was always going to be a tall order, even for a second-line forward on a contending team.

Of the top-10 picks, six are currently top-six forwards or top-four defensemen, while Tarasenko — taken at No. 16 — is among the league’s elite.

And following a three-year career in Finland’s top professional league, Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund — the No. 9 pick — looked poised to do the same.

After four years of fits, starts and one spectacular diving game-winner, it appears Granlund is finally living up to the high bar set by his peers.

Granlund started the season at his typical pace, posting 14 points in 24 games, right in line with his previous scoring rate of 0.55 points per game, but he seemed to turn a corner during the Wild’s 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Since then his production has more than doubled.

Granlund has 34 points since that game — two more than Sidney Crosby, four more than Alexander Ovechkin — and now ranks 14th in the NHL with 48 points in 51 games.

His 12-game point streak is the longest in franchise history.

Granlund matched his previous career scoring high with an assist in a loss to Calgary last week, before blowing past it on Saturday, notching his first NHL hat trick and powering the Wild to a road win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Mikael Granlund, Career stats

Season Age GP G A PTS Rating
2012-13 20 27 2 6 8 -4
2013-14 21 63 8 33 41 -3
2014-15 22 68 8 31 39 17
2015-16 23 82 13 31 44 -12
2016-17 24 51 15 33 48 30

His current pace — 1.25 points per game since Dec. 7 — would be enough to net Granlund around 87 points on the season.

That would have been good enough for third place last season, behind Patrick Kane and Jamie Benn.

NHL Scoring since Dec. 7, 2016

Player Team GP PTS G A
Mikael Granlund Wild 27 34 10 24
Brent Burns Sharks 28 33 12 21
Brad Marchand Bruins 29 33 16 17
Nicklas Backstrom Capitals 29 32 8 24
Sidney Crosby Penguins 25 32 13 19
Evgeny Kuznetsov Capitals 29 32 8 24
Alex Ovechkin Capitals 29 30 13 17
Mark Scheifele Jets 26 27 12 15
Jeff Carter Kings 28 26 16 10
Evgeni Malkin Penguins 21 26 12 14

After a few years spent in the shadows of his former draft-mates, Granlund now trails Seguin and Tarasenko by just two points overall, and leads Hall by seven.

And nearly 500 games after they were drafted, Granlund is finally closing the cap on the class of 2010.

The 2010 Draft Class, by total points

Drafted Drafted By Current Team Player Pos GP PTS G A
2 Bruins Stars Tyler Seguin C 479 405 182 223
1 Oilers Devils Taylor Hall LW 424 363 145 218
7 Hurricanes Hurricanes Jeff Skinner C 468 304 161 143
4 Blue Jackets Predators Ryan Johansen C 403 265 96 169
16 Blues Blues Vladimir Tarasenko RW 311 259 129 130
12 Ducks Ducks Cam Fowler D 468 205 45 160
14 Blues Blues Jaden Schwartz C 288 189 83 106
9 Wild Wild Mikael Granlund C 291 180 46 134
37 Hurricanes Hurricanes Justin Faulk D 370 179 59 120
147 Canadiens Canadiens Brendan Gallagher RW 299 174 83 91
178 Senators Senators Mark Stone RW 227 172 71 101
26 Capitals Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov C 232 165 45 120
47 Kings Kings Tyler Toffoli C 264 161 76 85
28 Sharks Wild Charlie Coyle C/RW 322 159 65 94
5 Islanders Wild Nino Niederreiter RW 358 155 75 80
30 Islanders Islanders Brock Nelson C 285 135 71 64
131 Stars Stars John Klingberg D 192 129 29 100
19 Panthers Panthers Nick Bjugstad C 250 119 57 62
24 Blackhawks Rangers Kevin Hayes RW 205 116 44 72
45 Bruins Bruins Ryan Spooner C 190 105 29 76
59 Wild Wild Jason Zucker LW 220 99 58 41
21 Red Wings Red Wings Riley Sheahan C 254 92 36 56
8 Thrashers Coyotes Alexander Burmistrov C 307 87 31 56
42 Ducks Devils Devante Smith-Pelly RW 256 75 31 44
51 Red Wings Predators Calle Jarnkrok C 219 73 33 40
6 Lightning Capitals Brett Connolly RW 249 73 37 36
157 Rangers Rangers Jesper Fast RW 196 60 20 40
66 Lightning Flyers Radko Gudas D 244 59 14 45
20 Penguins Devils Beau Bennett RW 169 55 19 36
99 Panthers Sharks Joonas Donskoi RW 120 51 17 34

Statistics courtesy of STATS LLC and Hockey-Reference.com