Wild Land Intriguing Scoring Prospect Luke Toporowski in Pat Maroon Trade

Luke Toporowski Boston Bruins
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild traded Pat Maroon to the Boston Bruins on Friday, in a move that adds (currently injured) ring cred to the bottom six of a Stanley Cup contending roster. Meanwhile, the Wild bring back a conditional 6th round pick and Bruins top-10 prospect, Luke Toporowski.

When Michael Russo (The Athletic) first tweeted that Toporowski was coming back in the deal, he carefully used “take” instead of “get” as his verb of choice, #mnwild take forward Luke Toporowski back in the Maroon deal”.

What are the Minnesota Wild getting in Luke Toporowski?

When I saw that, I figured there was nothing to be overly excited about, when it came to Luke Toporowski. But I did some digging anyway, and came out a bit surprised by what I found. Most major outlets didn’t have Toporowski among their top Bruins prospects entering the season, but one site that follows Boston’s hockey prospects closer than most others is “BlacknGoldHockey.com“, which had Luke ranked as their #7 prospect in the system entering 2023-24.

“The most promising thing about Toporowski is that he’s produced at every level. He’s one of the few prospects in the Bruins system that you can point to his goal totals and see the numbers clear as day. He has an incredible shot that he can load up and release quickly, firing away with immense power and precision. His hands are quick enough to get his shot off through traffic, and he can also tee it up when given time and space.

The other great things about Toporowski are his motor and speed. He stands only 5’11” but can always be found mucking it up in the corners and throwing his weight around on the forecheck. He’s a speedy winger with a nasty side that almost seems he enjoys battling for pucks in the corners and fighting for space in front of the net. His speed, tenacity, and shot make him a threat from all over the offensive zone when the puck is on his stick. He never gives up on plays and is the undersized skater you can’t help but root for.”

BlacknGoldHockey.com – Tom Calautti

I started looking for more information on Luke Toporowski, after checking out his statistics over the last handful of years. After surprisingly going undrafted in 2019, Toporowski returned to the WHL, where he played the season prior, and absolutely blew up for 60 points (29 goals, 31 assists).

Related: Minnesota Wild Trade Brandon Duhaime to Colorado Avalanche

After year in the USHL, Luke returned to the WHL and again showed his scoring prowess with 63 points () in just 49 games split between two different teams. In his first season as an AHL prospect, the then 21-year-old Iowan posted 29 points in 47 AHL games, solid for his first year in a new league.

But 2023-24 has been a struggle for the now 22-year-old, especially since the calendar flipped to 2024. After scoring five goals in the Pittsburgh Bruins’ first 11 games this season, it was as if Toporowski forgot how to put the puck in the net. In his next 38 games, he potted just two goals total, including a 19-game goalless drought.

Toporowskis are a hockey family

Toporowski’s dad, Kerry, is known in hockey circles as a total badass. He played most of his career between the UHL and IHL, racking up over 300 penalty minutes in five different seasons, including 505 minutes in 1990 for WHL Spokane and 413 minutes a decade later for UHL Quad City.

But fighting is not what the Wild hope to get out of Luke. Of course, there aren’t any real expectations. He’s coming over as a struggling scorer who needs to turn his career around, if he wants to stick around the NHL, even if it’s just as a prospect in the AHL.

Related: NHL Scout Scoffs at What Minnesota Wild Have to Offer at Trade Deadline

But… given his scoring acument coming into the season, it doesn’t seem completely out of the realm of possibility that he regains his confidence back in his home state of Iowa, with the Iowa Wild, and ends up as a competent bottom six forward who brings a real scoring threat.

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