Minnesota Wild Bring Back Keranen


The Minnesota Wild have re-signed one of their more interesting prospects this week. They have re-signed Swedish player Michael Keranen, who led the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League with 27 assists.

Keranen never played with Minnesota this past season, though he was recalled temporarily. The 25 year old could get a shot at making the Minnesota NHL roster for the 2015-2016 season.

Keranen, along with his 27 assists, had 37 points overall and 147 shots on goal. He is a play maker, though he does posses the ability to put the puck in the net.

The Wild have several unrestricted free agents this summer, including Sean Bergenheim, Mikael Granlund (restricted, but should get a hefty offer), Devan Dubnyk, and Chris Stewart. Since they are rather tight to the cap following two years of advancing to the western semi finals, they might need some young, cheap players to fall into their lineup.

Especially if they lose Bergenheim and Granlund, the Wild will need to add another productive forward into the fold.

Along with at the AHL leve, Keranen has found success in professional hockey, winning the Lasse Oksanen Award in Finland for the top offensive player. He was also voted as the winner of the “golden helmet”, awarded to the league’s top player by their peers. He had 52 points in 52 games in his last season in Finland.

He originally signed a one year deal with Minnesota, but after seeing no time with the Wild they want to bring him back and give him another crack at the roster.

One thing to note about Kieranan is that he was a late bloomer even in Finland. He exploded onto the scene in his last season before the Wild discovered him, with a previous career high of 27 points. Obviously, he was able to capture some of his skill even in the AHL by leading the team in assists.

The Swede is listed at 6’2 and 175 pounds. He’s a right win with a left shot and Hockey’s Future has this to say about his talent;

"Keranen is a light, but highly-skilled playmaking forward who is effective at creating scoring opportunities. Not overly combative when it comes to physical play but willing to take a hit to create chances, he has had success at the AHL level in his first season of North America. Whether he can have that same type of production against bigger and more talented defenders in the NHL is uncertain."

More from Frozen Futures