Found March 30, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
ST. PAUL, Minn. A day after Jason Zucker made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild, the team brought back two more of its prospects from their junior teams and assigned them to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.
Forward Brett Bulmer and defenseman Josh Caron will be joining the Aeros and will be eligible to play in the Calder Cup playoffs this season because they were signed previously to contracts before playing this season with their junior teams. The Wild couldn't bring either up to the NHL because Minnesota has exhausted its four post-All-Star break call-ups and only can make moves on emergency conditions at this point in the season.
Both players were added after the junior teams were eliminated in the playoffs this week.
Zucker, 20, made his NHL debut in Thursday's 3-2 overtime win against the Florida Panthers, but was signed to an entry-level contract this week out of Denver University, meaning he could join the Wild right away. He finished with 10:55 in ice time Thursday and had three shots and two hits.
Bulmer, 19, is as highly-regarded as Zucker, but will head to Houston after playing nine games at the start of the season with Minnesota. He had three assists and seven shots on goal before being returned to his junior team, the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. Picked in the second round of the 2010 draft along with Zucker, Bulmer had 34 goals and 28 assists in 53 games for Kelowna this season.
"He showed us he has the ability to be a real strong NHL player," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said last week. "We were really impressed with him. What I was impressed with is how quickly he was able to adapt. Not every player is going to play the same type of game that they play in juniors as they play in the NHL. He was able to put himself in a checking-line role and able to learn the defensive side of the game rather quickly and was able to bring momentum for us when he was out on the ice."
The 6-foot-3 forward was recently named the 69th best prospect attached to an organization by The Hockey News in its annual Future Watch. Bulmer was one of six Wild players listed in the top-75.
Minnesota had five of the top 40 prospects in the game, 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 winger Johan Larsson (No. 38) add to an organization that made the biggest jump this year, going from 29th to seventh-overall rated organization. Zucker was also mentioned, along with forwards Zack Phillips and Mario Lucia, and goaltender Darcy Kuemper in Minnesota's top-10.
Caron, 21, had one goal, 12 assists and 159 penalty minutes in 63 games for the Everett Silvertips this past season. The 6-foot-4 defenseman was signed by the Wild as a free agent in 2010.
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BEST OF MAXIM
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