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Nico Sturm visits New Ulm on Friday

Staff photo by Jeremy Behnke Minnesota Wild hockey player Nico Sturm watches the Glockenspiel on Friday afternoon. Sturm was in New Ulm on Friday and toured the city. Sturm is from Germany and it was his first visit to New Ulm.

NEW ULM — Minnesota Wild forward Nico Sturm took advantage of a cool fall afternoon to visit New Ulm Friday afternoon as part of the Wild visiting towns in Minnesota as they prepare for what hopefully will ­be a normal National Hockey League season.

“We are shooting some film of our visit here,” said Sturm, a 25-year old forward from Augsburg, Germany and who was a free agent signed by Minnesota from Clarkson University in 2019.

While in New Ulm, Sturm had a stop for lunch at the Kaiserhoff. He then stopped at the Glockenspiel, German Park, MN EIS Ice Cream Shop, Herman Heights and then Schells Brewery.

“Had some good German food — a little piece of home — I do not get that kind of food everywhere.” Sturm said. “I think that we are going to also take some film at the Herman Monument.”

Sturm said that hearing the Glockenspiel reminded him of home.

“We do have some of those at home. A lot of the places only have the bells and not the visuals.”

Last year was as strange year for all sports and especially hockey as play was stopped for everyone.

For Sturm, it was a season where he made his National Hockey League debut with the Wild only to see the season shut down for a while by the pandemic before re-starting.

“The break came unexpected,” Sturm said. “The break could have been two weeks or a year. We just tried to stay in shape and we were professional enough to keep working.”

Sturm said that the break was equally tough both mentally and physically.

“When you are off the ice for two weeks and it gets longer and longer you tend to get in a summer mode.”

But now Sturm and the rest of the Wild are readying for a fast approaching training camp.

Sturm knows that this season is a big one for him.

“I am trying to get my foot in he door,” he said. “I am looking to find my role with the team and try and become a full-time player. That is going to be a big step for me.”

Sturm feels that the biggest improvement that he needs to see from himself is his offense.

The Hobey Baker Award finalist in 2019 said that he feels he is just scratching the surface of what he has to offer.

“I need to get my foot in the door and be in the line-up every night.”

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