Mikael Granlund signed a new three-year, $17.25 million contract with the Minnesota Wild this week and it appears his new deal created a wave of optimism in the 25-year-old forward.
Shortly after signing his new deal, he spoke with the media and expressed his desire to stay with the group he believes will make some serious noise in the playoffs.
Mikael Granlund: "I’m glad we got this done. … I think we have a really good group of guys and we can (do) some damage in the playoffs."
— Dane Mizutani (@DaneMizutani) August 2, 2017
The Wild have made the playoffs in five consecutive seasons, but they’ve been unable to advance past the second round in those five seasons and have been bounced out in the first round two years in a row.
Last year, the Wild entered the playoffs with large expectations and were shocked by the St. Louis Blues in five games. There’s no denying that they had a strong roster, but they struggled to put all of the pieces together against a red-hot Jake Allen.
Granlund, the leading overall scorer for the Wild during the 2016-17 regular season with 69 points (26 goals, 43 assists), couldn’t find the back of the net in the playoffs over the course of five games. To be fair, scoring was at an absolute premium in the Wild-Blues series. Many players struggled besides Granlund. Still, the Wild needed more from one of their top offensive weapons and they’ll expect even more in 2017-18.
Will Granlund’s prediction pan out? The answer to that may rely on his own personal performance and if he can help elevate the play of those around him.