Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 5/23/12
ST. PAUL, Minn. The wait is over. Mikael Granlund is now a member of the Minnesota Wild. In a surprise video posted to the team's website Wednesday morning, Granlund personally announced his signing with a message to the Minnesota fans that have eagerly awaited Granlund's arrival since he was selected ninth overall in the 2010 draft. "Hello Minnesota Wild fans, I'm excited to announce that I've officially joined the Wild and I'm part of the state of hockey. I can't wait to see you all in October," Granlund said on the video followed by a series of his highlights. Those highlights have turned Granlund into one of the most-hyped prospects in Wild history and turned him into a star in his native Finland. He played in the top Finnish league, appeared on a postage stamp after a highlight goal against Russia at last year's World Championships and just finished another appearance in the World Championships along with Wild captain Mikko Koivu as Finland lost in the third-place game. Granlund, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound center, signed a three-year, entry-level contract. The Star Tribune reported it was worth 2.7 million with annual 90,000 signing bonuses and performance bonuses. The Wild had to wait until the World Championships were over before finally inking Granlund to the deal. If he wasn't signed by June 1, Minnesota would have lost his rights and he would have gone back into the draft. However, the delay in signing him only was procedural and there was mutual interest from both sides in getting a deal done. "Every little boy dreams to play NHL and now I have the contract,"Granlund said in an interview on the team's website. Granlund is the crown jewel of a group of prospects the Wild hope are able to help turn the team around after four straight seasons without a playoff appearance. Minnesota has one of the deepest set of prospects in the NHL led by Granlund, who was named the No. 2 overall prospect behind Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov by The Hockey News in its annual Future Watch in February. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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