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October 23, 2014

Granlund garners high praise from hockey great

Minnesota Wild Center Mikael Granlund has received some pretty high praise following his performance in the Olympics for Finland.

Granlund was named to the Olympic All-Star team after helping to lead the depleted Finnish squad to the bronze medal in Sochi.

With injuries keeping Mikko Koivu and and Valtteri Filppula out, Granlund was forced into Finland’s No. 1 center position. He thrived, leading the Finnish team in scoring. In the six games, Granlund finished with seven points.

“I have been feeling good and playing with confidence for awhile (even) before the tournament,” Granland said. “I just need to keep going and get better.”

Granlund had a pair of assists in Finland’s 5-0 victory over the U.S.

His play also earned him the respect of his idol and Olympic teammate Teemu Selanne. Selanne told the Pioneer Press, “He’s going to have a great career ahead. This is Granlund’s business card for the world to show that he is hungry and can’t wait to get out there.”

Off of his impressive run during the Olympics, the question becomes where does Granlund play in his return to the Wild?

According to the Pioneer Press, Wild coach Mike Yeo could play him on the first line with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville. But with Koivu expected to return from injury soon he could also end up on the second line with Charlie Coyle, Dany Heatley or Nino Niederreiter.