Feelin' Minnesotan: Ryan Suter.
He was born in Madison and lives there now, but he married a Bloomington gal and that counts for something.
Better: Justin Fontaine.
Sure he’s Canadian, but the Wild drafted the crafty forward right after he won a national championship with the UMD.
More better: Thomas Vanek.
Vanek might’ve been born in Austria but ever since the U of M recruited him in 2002, he’s called Minnesota home.
Even better: Erik Haula.
The Finnish national became Minnesotan when he moved to Faribault to attend Shattuck-St. Mary’s and went on to the U of M before joining the Wild.
Now we’re talking: Stu Bickel.
The Minnetonka grad still lives on the lake. A U of M stint was part of his road (USHL, NAHL, AHL, ECHL) to the NHL.
Close, but not quite: Nate Prosser.
The White Bear Lake alum slides ahead of Prosser because he stayed in state at Mankato State Univeristy before beginning a journeyman NHL career that spit him out with the Wild after playing for four other teams.
Even close, but not quite: Ryan Carter.
The White Bear Lake alum slides ahead of Prosser because he stayed in state at Mankato State Univeristy before beginning a journeyman NHL career that saw him with four other teams before finally landing with the Wild this year.
Oh yeah. Zach Parise.
He's the biggest free agent signing in Wild history, an Orono resident, and his dad was an assistant with the North Stars. Too bad he played college puck at North Dakota.
Ding, ding, ding! Keith Ballard.
How Minnesotan is the hard-nosed D-man? His parents run a second-generation fishing lodge on Lake of the Woods and when he played for the U of M they won back-to-back national championships. The Gophers haven’t won one since.