Granlund's so-called 'lacrosse goal' in the semi-final of the recent World Championships propelled the 19-year-old to global stardom. He had been expected to move to the NHL immediately following the championships, but his agent told a Minnesota newspaper that the plan is now for Granlund to sign for the Wild this time next year, once he has graduated from high school and finished his military service.
On Monday Granlund returned to Finland for his second championship celebration in a month, following his win with Heslingfors Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna in Finland's SM Liiga. The success has not shaken his focus on his education and military service obligations, however.
"Mikael prefers when he comes over to Minnesota, hockey is the only thing he needs to focus on in his life," Diamond told the Star-Tribune. "He wants to get all these so-called housekeeping things out of the way and, a year from now, get ready to hopefully crack the lineup."
Diamond had high praise for Minnesota, calling the state "the Finland of the United States in some ways". Granlund's decision did not surprise Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher.
"Mikael has consistently said he wanted to fulfill all of his commitments in Finland before he comes over to play in the NHL," Fletcher told the Star-Tribune.
The Wild picked Granlund with the ninth pick of the 2010 NHL draft. The Finnish Defence Forces have given him permission to attend a training camp in Minnesota in July, reports the Star-Tribune.