ST. PAUL, Minn. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter weren't the only players making their Minnesota Wild debuts Saturday night.
Mikael Granlund, the Finnish sensation who is one of the top prospects in hockey, played his first-ever NHL game and scored his first goal. Granlund, Minnesota's first-round pick in the 2009 draft, is in his first pro season in North America and he had 21 points in 21 games for the Houston Aeros while waiting for the NHL lockout to be resolved.
He didn't take long making impact on the NHL level.
Granlund tipped home a shot from Jared Spurgeon in the second period for his first goal with the Wild as part of a three-goal period, which set the tone for Saturday's 4-2 win in the season-opener. Granlund became just the second player in Minnesota history to score his first goal in the first game of the season.
"I just got a little lucky," Granlund said of the goal. "I just tipped the puck and it went in. That's a good thing. . . . I just tried to play how I can play....