Mikael Antero Granlund (born 26 February 1992) is a Finnish professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League (NHL). He previously played professionally in Finland with Oulun Kärpät and HIFK of the SM-liiga and in NHL as a member of the Minnesota Wild. He was selected by the Wild as the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Granlund with the Minnesota Wild in 2019
26 February 1992|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||184 lb (83 kg; 13 st 2 lb)|
|Position||Centre / Right wing|
9th overall, 2010|
Granlund played junior ice hockey with Oulun Kärpät in 2007–08 and 2008–09, averaging greater than a point per game in both seasons, and was named a first-team All-Star by his junior A league in 2009. He gained his first professional experience late that season, making his debut with Kärpät's team in the SM-liiga on his 17th birthday. He played only two games before he became embroiled in a contract dispute with the team. Granlund and his agent alleged the four-year junior contract he signed with Kärpät in 2007 was invalid because it failed to define what compensation he would get from the team, and that the team had altered the end date on his SM-liiga insurance application from April 2009 to April 2011 without his approval. The team admitted mistakes were made, but that they were made in good faith as both the team and player wished to get him in their top team immediately.
Arguing his contracts to be void, and considering himself to be a free agent, Granlund signed a contract with HIFK Helsinki for the 2009–10 season; Kärpät challenged his attempts to transfer to HIFK. Granlund sued his old team in July 2009 after Kärpät failed to relent, asking a court to cancel his contracts with them and clear the way for him to play with HIFK. The two sides reached a settlement a month later, allowing Granlund to transfer to his new team. He scored 13 goals and 27 assists in 43 games with HIFK in 2009–10, and led all rookies in scoring with 40 points. He was named the winner of the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy as the SM-liiga's top rookie, and with only two penalty minutes in the entire season, he also won the Raimo Kilpiö trophy as the league's most gentlemanly player. Additionally, Granlund was voted Finland's young Athlete of the Year for 2009.
Granlund has played with the Finnish national junior team at both the Under-18 and Under-20 World Championships in 2009 and 2010. At the 2010 U18 Championship, Granlund led the tournament in assists with 9, while his 13 total points were third-best as he helped Finland win its second consecutive bronze medal. At the 2010 World Junior Championship, he was Finland's top scorer with seven points as the team finished fifth overall.
Among skaters, Granlund was considered the top European prospect for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. While scouts have noted his small size at five feet, ten inches, they were impressed with his vision on the ice. Granlund was ultimately selected ninth overall in the Draft by the Minnesota Wild.
As Granlund's contract ran through the 2010–11 season, he returned to HIFK for one more season. Suffering a concussion in mid-October, Granlund was sidelined for over two months, missing the 2011 World Junior Championship as a result. Acting primarily as a playmaker, Granlund was a key player in helping HIFK win the SM-liiga title. Granlund was second in playoff scoring (5–11–16) behind teammate Juha-Pekka Haataja (8–8–16).
Following the 2010–11 SM-liiga season, Granlund made his debut with the senior Finnish national team for the 2011 IIHF World Championship. Using the "Mike Legg Michigan style scoop" in a full-speed variation, Granlund scored a lacrosse style highlight reel goal in the semifinal game against Russia, helping Finland win gold. 
In May 2011, Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) publicly claimed his playing rights because it drafted him one year before his selection by the NHL's Minnesota Wild. However, because of Finland's mandatory military service requirements, Granlund remained with HIFK through the 2011–12 season. Granlund himself has stated he was not interested in playing in the KHL but planned to play in the NHL.
Granlund signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild during the 2012 NHL off-season. With the NHL lockout postponing the 2012–13 season, Granlund was assigned to the Wild's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Houston Aeros, to begin the 2012–13 campaign. After the lockout ended, Granlund was recalled from Houston and made the Wild's opening night roster. In the first game of the Wild's season, he made his NHL debut and scored his first NHL goal, against Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche on 19 January 2013.
Granlund's play improved during his sophomore year, scoring 8 goals and 33 assists. Midway through the season, Granlund was moved to Minnesota's top line where he was frequently paired with Jason Pominville and Zach Parise. On 21 April 2014, Granlund scored a goal in overtime to lead the Wild to a playoff victory over Colorado.
In the 2014–15 season, Granlund again played on Minnesota's top line alongside Pominville and Parise, where he recorded 8 goals and 31 assists.
The 2015–16 season saw Granlund centre the Wild's second line with a variety of wingers due to Minnesota's struggle with injuries and line-shuffling. Near the end of the season, interim head coach John Torchetti placed him on the first line wing with fellow Finn Mikko Koivu, leading to a sudden uptick in points production, something Torchetti attributed to being released from the defensive duties often placed on centremen. He played well in the Wild's short playoff run, with Torchetti calling him the Wild's "best competitor".
On 1 August 2017, the Wild re-signed Granlund to a three-year, $17.25 million contract with an annual average of $5.75 million, thereby avoiding salary arbitration.
During the 2018–19 season, having registered 49 points through 63 games, Granlund was traded by the Wild at the trade deadline to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Kevin Fiala on 25 February 2019. In his first 16 games with the Predators, he struggled to score goals; he managed to do so only once in that time frame.
On 29 September 2020, Granlund informed the Predators he would not be re-signing and that he would test free agency. However, on 22 December, Granlund would end up re-signing with Nashville on a one-year, $3.75 million contract.
In popular cultureEdit
After Granlund's "lacrosse-style" goal at the 2011 IIHF World Championship semifinal against Russia, Finnish Hockey Mafia released the single "Taivas varjele!" featuring sampled comments by Finnish sports broadcaster Antero Mertaranta. The single released the same week of the much-talked about goal reached #2 in the Finnish Singles Chart as well as topping the chart for most Finnish Singles downloads that week.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
Granlund at the 2010 World Junior Championships
|IIHF World U18 Championship|
|2009 United States|
Awards and honoursEdit
|Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy||2009–10|||
|Raimo Kilpiö trophy||2009–10|||
|Finnish Ice Hockey Player of the Year||2011|
|WJC First Team All-Star||2012|||
|Olympic All-Star Team||2014|||
|WC All-Star Team||2016|||
- Adams, Alan (June 2010). "Top prospects gun for no. 1". The Hockey News: 25. ISSN 0018-3016.
- "A-nuorten SM-liigan palkitut" (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 4 March 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Kärppien Mikael Granlund, 17, debytoi tänään" (in Finnish). SM-liiga. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- Pakarinen, Risto (12 July 2009). "Granlund sues old team". International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Kärpät ei hyväksy Granlundin siirtoa" (in Finnish). jatkoaika.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Partanen, Joonas (26 August 2009). "Näkökulma". Iltalehti. Kustannusosakeyhtiö Iltalehti: 10. ISSN 0783-0025.
- "Mikael Granlund player card". The Hockey News. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Mikael Granlund Draft Card". National Hockey League. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "SM-liigan kausipalkinnot jaettiin Liigagaalassa" (in Finnish). SM-liiga. 29 May 2010. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "Kulta-Aikku ylivoimaisesti Vuoden urheilijaksi" (in Finnish). MTV3. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "Finland player scoring at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "International Skaters Final Rankings" (PDF). NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Pistepörssi 2010-11" (in Finnish). SM-liiga. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Eishockey WM 2011 - Mikael Granlund Tor - Finnland vs. Russland 1:0" (in German). youTube. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Finnland folgt Schweden ins Finale, Austria" (in German). orf.at. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Die Russen von den Finnen entzaubert, Switzerland" (in German). nzz.ch. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Schweden und Finnland spielen um Gold, Spiegel" (in German). spiegel.de. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Granlunds fräckis fixade drömfinal". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Kimelman, Adam (13 May 2011). "Granlund scores goal for the ages at Worlds". NHL.com. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Granlund to Minsk". HS.fi. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- "HIFK sports director: Granlund will not go to KHL even for truck full of money". Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Young hockey prospect Granlund signs 3 year contract with NHL's Minnesota Wild". hs.fi. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Houston Aeros Announce Training Camp Roster". 27 September 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "Wild vs Avalanche Boxscore". National Hockey League. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Fox, Luke (22 April 2014). "Gotta See It: Granlund's airborne goal saves Wild". Sportsnet.ca. Sportsnet. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- Myers, Dan (23 April 2016). "Granlund thriving on wing for Wild". NHL.com. St. Paul, Minn: NHL. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Wild Inks Granlund to Three-Year Contract". NHL.com. St. Paul: Minnesota Wild. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- TSN ca Staff (25 February 2019). "Predators acquire Granlund from Wild for Fiala - TSN.ca". TSN. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- IFPI website: "Taivas Varjele!" page
- "Filip Forsberg interview: Meet the Liverpool-obsessed NHL star". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- Halford, Mike (23 February 2014). "Karlsson, Kessel highlight Olympic All-Star team". NBC Sports. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Media All Stars" (PDF). IIHF. 22 May 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mikael Granlund.|
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Mikael Granlund's NHL Draft Prospect Card
|Awards and achievements|
| Minnesota Wild first round draft pick