Last July, the Minnesota Wild launched themselves
back into prominence. Chuck Fletcher broke the bank to sign marquee free agents
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. With those signings, it is possible that the
Minnesota Wild are now Stanley Cup contenders.
Before he made an impact during Free Agency,
Fletcher made some noise on draft day. His first selection was Red Deer Rebels
defenseman Mathew Dumba. With Dumba in the system, the Wild defense got a whole
In the second round of the 2012 National Hockey
League draft, Fletcher selected Baie-Comeau Drakkar left-winger Raphael
Bussieres. The Longueuil, Quebec native tallied 21 goals for the Drakkar and
added 23 assists, which adds up to 44 points.
Bussieres is a rough and tumble winger who plays and
honest game. Dan Swallows of Future Considerations had this to say about
Bussieres. "He is a throwback to hockey's good old days, when players would
police the game themselves."
In addition to his rough and tumble style, he also
has nice hands, great on-ice vision, and hockey sense. Wild head coach Mike
Yeo, will love his physicality and his work along the boards. Moreover, he is
superb at creating space for hi teammates.
This season is his third full season in Baie-Comeau.
So far, Bussieres has scored one goal and assisted on one of them. His
production should increase due to the fact he is playing alongside Gabryel
Paquin-Boudreau, Valentin Zykov, and Carl Gelinas.
This could very well be Bussieres final junior
season. During the season, he needs bring some consistency to his game. If he
can bring the same intensity to every shift, then his road to Minnesota will be
The Wild should be in no rush to bring Bussieres to
the pros. Fletcher has stockpiled a number of gritty forward that can score in
his farm system. Names would include Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson, and Jason
On Monday's edition of the Prospect Preview, we will
talk out Hunter Shinkaruk, who is eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.