Wild prospect Larsson top rookie in Sweden
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The highly-touted prospects for the Minnesota Wild keep giving the team and its fans reasons to be excited for the future.
Johan Larsson, a second-round pick by Minnesota in the 2010 draft, was named the rookie of the year in the Swedish Elite League on Tuesday. The 6-foot, 198-pound winger had 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists) in 49 games this season for Brynas of the SEL. Larsson, 19, finished the regular season ranked third on Brynas in scoring and assists. His team advanced to the league finals with Larsson scoring a goal and passing out three assists in 10 playoff games.
Larsson was selected 56th overall in 2010, the second of three second-round picks that season for the Wild, which has upgraded the team's talent pool. Brett Bulmer (39th overall) and Jason Zucker (59th) were also selected in the second round in 2010 and made their NHL debuts this season.
Larsson, who captained Sweden to the gold medal at the World Junior Championships earlier this year, could possibly come over to Minnesota this offseason. He has already signed his entry-level contract and the Wild expect several of their top prospects to possibly turn pro before training camp.
Larsson was named Minnesota's fifth-best prospect in The Hockey News' annual Future Watch last month, one of five prospects in the top-40 overall, the first time any team had that many in the top-40 in the publication's history. No other team had as many as three in the top-50 this year. With center Mikael Granlund (No. 2 overall), defenseman Jonas Brodin (No. 12), forward Charlie Coyle (No. 14), the Wild were the only team with three players in the top-15. Goaltender Matt Hackett (No. 35) and Larsson add to an organization that made the biggest jump this year, going from 29th to rated seventh-overall, with six players in the top-75.
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