The issue of wavelength assignment is one of the most important factors that affect the capacity for the deployment of optical networks. This issue becomes more critical for multicast connections, especially when the network nodes have no wavelength conversion capability. Although the wavelength assignment can be more flexible if each node can perform wavelength conversion, the deployment cost increases accordingly. A compromise is to support a limited portion of conversion nodes in the WDM network. We propose a systematic approach for the wavelength assignment of multicast connections in WDM networks with sparse wavelength conversion nodes. The efficiency of the arrangement of wavelength is measured by its influences on the available capacity of the network and the consumption of wavelengths. By using the proposed approach, the Static Cost Greedy (SCG) algorithm  can be easily extended to be applicable in a Sparse Wavelength Conversion Network (SWCN). In addition, instead of SCG, the Minimum-Effect-First (MEF) algorithm is proposed to maximize the network capacity during wavelength assignment. We compare the performance of the proposed MEF methods with the extended SCG scheme through exhaustive simulations. The experimental results indicate that the proposed MEF schemes demonstrate much better performance than the SCG scheme. We also found that the performance is not always improved proportionally to the increment of the wavelength conversion nodes. The improvement reaches saturation when the number of conversion nodes is above 35% of the total number of nodes.