29-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Robbie Earl Contract Information:
Agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Wild in July of 2010.
Earl was sent to Houston of the AHL, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Robbie Earl.
Earl has had a lot of success in junior leagues as well as in college. He's been a member of the U.S. National teams and played his college hockey at the University of Wisconsin, where he scored 24 G and had 50 points in his last season. The LW has seen some time in the NHL, with both Toronto and Minnesota. His best season came last year, when he appeared in 32 games and scored six goals. He'll start this season in the minors but may get called up at some point in the season. However, even if that happens, he won't do anything of significance to help your team.
Earl didn't play a single NHL game last season for either Toronto or the Wild, who acquired him midseason for Ryan Hamilton. He's not among the top Wild prospects at this point and will have to catch a break or two to see extended action with Minnesota.
Earl is like a 100 meter sprinter on ice -- man, can he fly. His hands will never catch up to his feet but he'll get a handful of points any way. At worst, he becomes a premier penalty killer whose speed makes pucks squirt loose more often than not. But there's little fantasy value in that.
Earl has the potential to develop into a top-six winger. But the great offense that he showed in the NCAA ranks disappeared when he turned pro. He's a top-flight speedster; whether he can harness the wheels and the hands together remains to be seen.
The lightning-fast Earl isn't big enough to be a true power forward, but he isn't afraid to get physical either. Has the offensive talent to be special in the NHL, but he's probably still a couple of seasons away.