By Mike Max

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild are winning and it’s easy to identify the nucleus of talent.

But you also notice the number of players called up and sent down to Iowa during the season. Their job is to make an impression, which is made easier by a winning locker room.

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Alex Tuch was sent down on Thursday, but the first round pick got a taste of it, the NHL locker room.

“Just I guess the winning mentality. It also makes it a little bit easier to play because of how confident the group is,” Tuch said. “Everyone is playing confident, everyone is playing almost relaxed, but upbeat at the same time.”

Jordan Schroeder has played that game as well. What helps the most going back and forth between Des Moines and St. Paul is constant communication when you are here.

“A lot of it is a lot of talk on the ice. People don’t realize communication is a huge part of the game. Talking on the bench, in between periods, on the ice even,” Schroeder said.

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There is a certain pressure that goes with being called up to a team that’s battling for the top spot in the West. But there is also a winning atmosphere. In other words, the veterans are in a good mood.

That’s what makes it easy, that people are happy.

“Yeah I mean as a younger guy it feels great. The older guys, everyone is happy. No one really gives you too much of a hard time compared to when you’re losing,” Tyler Graovac said. “Everybody is jolly and the energy is just a winning atmosphere.”

Mike Reilly has journeyed Interstate 35 many times. It’s a roller coaster car ride, one that involves trust in yourself and the organization.

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“Yeah it definitely gets tough. You’ve got to just say mentally tough for sure. Just know that they’ve got a plan in place for you at some point,” Reilly said.

Mike Max