In Twin Cities sports lore "da-kid" will always be known for his prowess on the basketball court. There is a new kid in town however and although he isn't fresh out of high school, this 20 year old hits the state of hockey with just as much fanfare.
Mikael Granlund was drafted by the Wild nearly 31 months ago and since that moment, the talk around hockey circles is that the Finish superstar was going to be a game changer for a team mired in mediocrity.
"NHL has been my dream since (I was) a kid so now it becomes true," said Granlund. "I think this is a great team. There were a couple of big signs last summer so I think the team is going to be good."
Those two big signings were Zach Parise and Ryan Suter and both along with a prospect stacked organization have at least taken the pressure off. Although Granlund is the future of the organization, he doesn't need to shoulder the entire load immediately.
"I just try to play as good as I can and help my team," he said about expectations. "This is my dream, it's what I enjoy. That's all I want to do"
Granlund will step right into the lineup as the team's second line center set right between veterans Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi.
In his first two years in Finland's junior leagues he tallied 23 goals and tallied 66 assists in 66 games. The last three seasons he has played with HIFK Helsinki for the past three seasons and has 41 goals and 86 assists in 127 games. The bottom line when it comes to the kid is he is going to add a scoring punch to a team that has struggled to find goals.