Olson playing waiting game after skating in Minnesota Wild campFormer Spartan notched one goal, one assist
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
ST. PAUL — Former Superior High School hockey standout Brett Olson took part in the 2012 Minnesota Wild development camp last week at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
Olson, 25, a captain and center, led Michigan Tech in scoring in 2011-12 with 10 goals and 20 assists for 30 points in 39 games as a senior. In his college career, he had 42 goals and 51 assists for 93 points in 127 games.
Also among the 45 invitees were St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc of Hermantown and Wild minor-league winger Justin Fontaine, a former Minnesota Duluth player.
“I had a good time and things went pretty good,” Olson said. “The Wild are a top-notch organization and treated everybody very well.”
Wild coaches kept the skaters busy with on-ice training twice a day and workouts in between. A few on-ice drills campers worked on were stick handling and power skating, and off ice they went through military training with an Iraq veteran.
There were also a couple of fun days where the players had their choice to attend a Twins game or go to the Mall of America. They also had a paintball shootout near Hudson.
Olson was a member of Team White, which overcame an early deficit for the second time in four days, to defeat Team Green 6-5 in front of 7,500 fans in the second and final scrimmage of Minnesota Wild Development Camp Sunday morning at Xcel Energy Center.
With the White team leading 4-3 after regulation, a full-team shootout was held and only four goals total were scored as goaltenders Johan Gustafsson and Matt Hackett were stellar.
Olson, an invitee to the camp, scored the first goal for Team White, extending their lead to 5-3. But another pair of invitees for Team Green, LeBlanc and Corbin Baldwin knotted the game at five with consecutive goals late in the shootout.
With shooters running low, Burnsville native and 2006 draft pick Kyle Medvec blasted a slap shot past Gustafsson to score the knockout blow for Team White in the victory.
Mikael Granlund, Minnesota’s ninth overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, scored two goals for the Green Team. His first goal came on a penalty shot for a 1-0 lead just one minute into the scrimmage. (Penalty shots were awarded on all penalties instead of power plays.)
“He’s a very skilled player,” Olson said. “He was so smooth he never really looked like he was working hard.”
The camp concluded with exit meetings between Wild staff and each player.
“The meeting went well, but now we’re in a wait-and-see situation,” Olson said. “The Wild are trying to see if I can fit into their system. They have a lot of younger guys on their minor league team in Houston and they only have a certain amount of contracts available. If things don’t work out with the Wild, there are so many other possibilities, including in the AHL.
“There are so many variables that go into signing with a team, but I know I’ll eventually be playing somewhere. It just might take a while.”
NOTE: Superior’s Mike Sislo, a high school teammate of Olson’s, plays for the Albany Devils of the AHL.