ST. PAUL, Minn. Mikael Granlund entered the NHL with immense expectations for the young center.
Granlund was a cult hero in his native Finland, a world championships star and a one of the best players in the Finnish Elite League playing against players much older. He was the biggest name prospect entering the NHL last season, less than a year after The Hockey News named him the second-best prospect whose rights were owned by an NHL team.
Granlund signed last May with Minnesota, the team that made him the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 entry draft, and immediately had the Wild fan base clamoring to watch him in action.
"Obviously expectations were incredibly high and that is what it is," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said of Granlund after the season ended. "It was like our team, there were high expectations. We can't always control those. But he's been a top player at every level he's played at."
Granlund was having a successful season with the Houston Aeros of the American H...