SCSU’s Sam Hentges leads Minnesota Wild’s NCAA prospects early

The Minnesota Wild‘s seven college prospects are on the board through the first few weeks of the season.

St. Cloud State sophomore Sam Hentges, 19, leads the group — and the Huskies — with six points in four games after helping SCSU to a split with Northeastern last weekend.

St. Cloud State lost a lot of firepower over the summer — five of the Huskies’ top six scorers from last season are gone — but Hentges, a seventh-round pick of the Wild in 2018, is doing his part to pick up the slack.

Hentges, a native of Fridley, Minn., was involved in all three of the Huskies’ goals against Northeastern. He scored SCSU’s only goal Friday, then created their first Saturday, winning the puck down low before planting a backhanded pass on the stick of teammate Jack Poehling in the slot.

He converted on a backdoor feed midway through the second period that stood up as the game-winner.

Minnesota Duluth junior Nick Swaney (seventh round, 2017) scored in back-to-back games for the Bulldogs on Oct. 12 and Oct. 18. He’s up to four points in six games and leads the defending champs by a wide margin with 27 shots on goal.

The other junior of the group, Vermont forward Bryce Misley, scored his first goal of the season Oct. 19 during a 2-0 win over St. Lawrence, the Catamounts’ only victory of the season through four games.

Vladislav Firstov (second round, 2019) scored his first collegiate goal Oct. 12 in UConn’s 5-3 loss to Rensselaer, and has three points in four games for the Huskies.

The Wild’s three prospects at Boston College were shut out in the Eagles’ only game last weekend, a 6-2 lost to Providence.

Freshman forward Matt Boldy (first round, 2019) has been quiet since scoring his first college goal in a 5-3 win over Wisconsin to start the season. Freshman defenseman Marshall Warren (sixth round, 2019) also scored in that win over Wisconsin and picked up an assist in BC’s 6-4 loss to Denver on Oct. 19.

Sophomore forward Jack McBain has three assists after adding two during that same loss to Denver.

Boston College is set to remain a hub for Wild prospects next season.

Nikita Nesterenko (sixth round, 2019) committed to BC last week. He currently plays for Chilliwack of the Junior A BCHL, and has 13 points (four goals and nine assists) in 17 games.

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Other notes:

— Saginaw Spirit captain Damien Giroux (fifth round, 2018) is joining Team OHL for the 2019 CIBIC Canada Russia Series. The 19-year-old forward is tied for the league lead with six power play goals and leads Saginaw in scoring with 20 points (12 goals and eight assists).

— Uber-prospect Kirill Kaprizov (fifth round, 2015) leads the KHL in scoring with 12 goals in 20 games. The 22-year-old is already up to 101 career goals in Russia’s top league, and leads CSKA Moscow with 22 points this season.

— Alexander Khovanov (third round, 2018) leads the Moncton Wildcats with 25 points and is tied for fifth in the QMJHL with 17 assists. The 19-year-old had six points Oct. 13 during a win over Saint John, and has points in his last six games.

— Former Gophers goaltender Mat Robson (undrafted, signed 2019) is off to a solid start in his first season with the AHL’s Iowa Wild. Robson has a .941 save percentage and a 1.94 GAA in four starts.

— Defenseman Filip Johansson, currently in his first season in Sweden’s top pro league, scored his first SHL goal last week and now has two points in 12 games.