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Looking to make the leap: Alex Tuch

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Alex Tuch is selected eighteenth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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This post is part of Wild Day on PHT...

The Minnesota Wild have made the playoffs four straight seasons, meaning they haven’t had access to the top prospects in the NHL draft for a while now. The last time they made a pick in the top 10 was back in 2012, when they selected defenseman Matt Dumba seventh overall.

Still, there are a few intriguing prospects in the system, and that includes forward Alex Tuch, a 20-year-old right winger who signed his entry-level contract in April after two years with Boston College.

Tuch was drafted 18th overall in 2014. He’s a big kid (6-4, 225), and he thinks he’s got a “good chance” of playing in the NHL this coming season.

“I think there are a couple roster spots that are up for grabs right now,” he told the Pioneer Press in July, “and I’m going to be willing to do what it takes to grab one of those spots. ... They have a great core group of guys, and I hope to be a part of that group someday soon.”

The most likely scenario has Tuch headed to AHL Iowa to start 2016-17. When the Wild signed Chris Stewart in free agency, it meant one less NHL spot for Tuch to grab.

But with a strong showing at camp and during exhibition play and, well, you never know.

“He seems like a guy that really wants to make the team and really wants to impress,” new head coach Bruce Boudreau said of Tuch, per CBS Minnesota. “So I’m looking forward to seeing him in actual combat.”