Minnesota Wild

Guillaume Latendresse


I got this really nice jersey card back from Guillaume Latendresse, signed in a great black sharpie that showed up really awesome!  He grew up in the province of Quebec City, where he had put up great numbers in the Q, amassing 20+ goals in each of his 3 season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs where he was initially drafted 2nd overall, just after Sidney Crosby went to Rimoski.  As of 2017, Guillaume’s number was retired by the team for his successes on (and presumably) off the ice.

He was fortunately drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, which I assume was exciting in itself to be able to stay close to home and being drafted by his home province team.  Unaware of the significance, he was given the number 84 which was the last number to have not been worn in the NHL during a regular season game.  Through his career, you could argue that it was largely unsuccessful but making it into the NHL in itself was a major feat.  In 341 games, he notched 87 goals and had 60 helpers where he finally decided to retire due to lack of interest in his abilities.

Guillaume now works as a Montreal Canadiens sports analyst for Le Reseau Des Sports.



Nino Niederreiter

HC0002“El Niño”, from what I am told, is Nino’s nickname.  Where he got it from, I do not know and would have been interesting to have discovered if I had asked him that question in my letter to him.

Drafted 5th overall in the 2010 draft, Nino ranks 14th overall in points on a list of players drafted in that same year.  It’s no surprise first and second overall players, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are the current leaders in points on the list but Mark Stone (drafted 178th overall) and Brendan Gallagher (drafted 147th overall) have more points than Nino and in less games.  When it’s all said and done, Nino may outscore both Mark and Brendan as he’s consistently putting up career numbers year over year the past few seasons.  He’ll need to pick up the pace if he wants to eclipse his last year total of 57 points as he’s slated for about 45 points.

Nino has always been a consistent signer, as demonstrated back when he was a part of the Portland Winterhawks.  It’s nice to also see that his signature resembles his name and that his autograph has remained consistent through the years.

Casey Wellman

Received: June 10th, 2011
Total players responses: 253
Total 2011 responses: 248

Casey Wellman is an undrafted hockey player who currently plays for the Minnesota Wild/Houston Aeros.  He split his time playing in the NHL and AHL this past season, playing 15 games with the Wild and 42 with the Aeros.  I wish the best of luck to Casey, because if he becomes a real NHL superstar, this card will mean that much more to me!

Andrew Brunette

Date sent: January 26th, 2011
Date received: May 30th, 2011
Total time: 124 days
Total players responses: 245
Total 2011 responses: 240

Andrew Brunette signed this OPC 2008 card which features him in a Colorado Avalanche, but shows him as a member of the Minnesota Wild.  I like Andrew’s autograph which features a large A and B and jersey number.  Andrew is a decent player putting up about 750 points in over 1000 games.  Good job Andrew!

Niklas Backstrom

Date sent: January 15th, 2011
Date received: April 14th, 2011
Total time: 119 days
Total players responses: 220
Total 2011 responses: 215

Nice! A decent auto from Niklas Backstrom, the goaltender for the Minnesota Wild.  Although it looks like the ink didn’t stick as well as I had hoped, I’m still very glad he returned my fan mail.  Niklas Backstrom is definitely a top goaltender in the NHL and I’m positive he’ll be around for years to come.