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The Minnesota Wild have announced that the team has agreed to terms with Matt Dumba for a three-year contract. Dumba was the team's first-round draft pick at No. 7 overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. It's worth $2.75 million if he plays in the NHL with the Wild, with an annual cap hit of $1.633 million with potential bonuses, according to the Star Tribune.
The press release from the Wild is also linked in the piece, though it's short and sweet. It notes that Dumba just wrapped up his participation in the Wild's Development Camp. If Dumba doesn't make the roster in training camp, he'll play for Red Deer in the Western Hockey League, where he has already played 69 games, posting 57 points and 67 penalty minutes.
Immediately following the draft, SB Nation gave the Wild a B+ for their haul, noting that Dumba could be one of the better defensemen out of the draft class. They also gave high marks for the fact that the Wild were sticking to their guns and didn't reach for someone after the run of defensemen.
With the seventh overall pick in the NHL draft there were plenty of ways that the Minnesota Wild could have gone on Friday during the draft's first round. Despite an early run on defensemen, the position that it looked like the Wild were coveting, they still managed to get their man as Matt Dumba made it to the seventh pick.
Getting one of the top defensive picks in the draft despite a run on the position was good news for the Wild and SB Nation's 2012 NHL Draft Grades saluted the Wild in the form of a B+ for the pick.
Minnesota Wild: Some scouts feel that Matt Dumba could be one of the better defensemen out of this draft class, and Minnesota didn't need to reach for his selection despite the early run on defensive prospects. A good selection for GM Chuck Fletcher. B+
These grades seem to have only taken the first round into account so none of the later picks were scrutinized, but Dumba is the main man for the Wild so he's the one that people will be talking about until he makes it up to the big league club.
The 2012 NHL Draft just wrapped up in Pittsburgh and although it was a quiet draft for Minnesotans compared to years past, three players with University of Minnesota hockey connections heard their names called.
Friday night saw defenseman Brady Skjei (pronounced "Shay) become the first Gopher since Nick Bjugstad in 2010 and 11th in 10 years to be drafted in the first round when the New York Rangers took him 28th. Skjei, a Lakeville native, has spent the last two years with the United States National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he has played against college, USHL and international competition. He will be a freshman in the fall and is adding to a Minnesota blue line that returns everyone from last year's Frozen Four semifinal team.
It's the second straight year New York has taken a player from the USNTDP who was heading to a WCHA school. Last year's pick, J.T. Miller, ended up reneging on a commitment to North Dakota to play for Plymouth in the OHL.
Saturday morning was quiet until the seventh and final round when Jake Bischoff and Louie Nanne were selected within a few picks of each other. Bischoff, a defenseman from Grand Rapids, was drafted 215th by the New York Islanders and follows in the footsteps of Kyle Okposo (8th overall in 2006) and Aaron Ness (40th overall in 2008). It's interesting because Islanders GM Garth Snow once lambasted Gopher head coach Don Lucia for how he developed players with Okposo but he continues to pick Minnesota recruits.
Bischoff is scheduled to play for the Gophers in 2013 or 2014 and for now will play for Omaha of the USHL.
Nanne, meanwhile, had a dream come true as the hometown Minnesota Wild spent their final pick on the Edina native. The grandson of Minnesota hockey great Lou Nanne is a left winger from Edina who put up 20 points (12G-8A) in 24 games last season.
Joining the University of Minnesota in 2013, Nanne joins a growing of list of State of Hockey players picked by the NHL team. He is the third player with Gopher ties drafted by current General Manager Chuck Fletcher following Nick Leddy and Erik Haula and the second Minnesotan drafted by the Wild in 2012, following Fairbault native John Draeger.
The Minnesota Wild shored up both the offense and their defense with their final three picks, selecting defenseman Daniel Gunnarsson, center Christoph Bertschy and left wing Louis Nanne. Nanne has deep connections with the team -- his grandfather, Lou, played for Minnesota from '68 to '78, then stayed on as GM, helping build the team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals in '81.
The 6'4", 190-pound Gunnarsson hails from Sweden, where he played for Lulea HF. He played in 46 matches with the senior team last year, scoring three goals and four assists. He was selected with the Wild's fifth-round pick, 128th overall.
Bertschy played with the Swiss team Bern in the '11-'12 season, recording eight goals and eight assists in 31 games with the senior team. He was selected in the sixth round, 158th overall.
Nanne was the Wild's final pick, taken in the seventh round with the 188th overall selection. He was born in Edina, MN, and played for Edina High School, where he notched 12 goals and eight assists in his junior season. He made a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota late last year.
Rounds two through seven of the NHL draft appeal to a very limited subset of sports fans. Hick, they only appeal to a very limited subset of hockey fans. As with any draft, the farther from the start it gets, the less and less likely it is that the player drafted will amount to a big league player.
Today, the Wild added six more players to the system, making no trades, electing instead to simply use their picks and take who they thought were the best available players.
In the second round, the Wild took Raphael Bussieres, a big left winger from the QMJHL. The pick left some players that many thought would be first rounders on the board. Players like Martin Frk and Dalton Thrower were still around at 46, but the Wild went a different direction. It’s tough to fault the Wild for doing so, especially with the track record of Brent Flahr.
It’s just good they didn’t draft Leonardo, or there may have leadership conflict with Mikko Koivu.
With their remaining picks, the Wild added John Draeger, a defenseman out of Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Adam Gilmour, a forward headed to Boston College, Daniel Gunnarsson, a defenseman out of Sweden, Christoph Bertschy, an undersized forward in Swtizerland, and with the seventh pick made a move that provincial Minnesotans will love.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally a seventh round pick is a throw away pick, used on the long shot, or your neighbor’s kid. The Wild took Louie Nanne, the grandson of form North Stars GM, and Minnesota hockey stalwart Lou Nanne. Many will see it as being parochial pick, stemming from nepotism.
That may be, but Louie Nanne also has shown some sick hands in the past, and is a University of Minnesota recruit. Hockey folks also balked when the Wild took Erik Haula in the seventh round, and now he is talked about in the same breath as many of the Wild’s top prospects.
Will Nanne be a sure bet? Absolutely not, but it wasn’t a throw away pick, meant only to make Lou Nanne happy. He has as good a shot as any other seventh round pick.
When all is said and done, the Wild add six more players to the development system, give themselves some new options, and continue to build toward the future. We’ll be able to tell more in the coming year, but some of the guys drafted this weekend will be NHLers. Which ones is all a matter of time.
The Minnesota Wild went back on the offensive in round four of the NHL Draft, selecting American center Adam Gilmour with the 98th overall pick.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Gilmour played prep hockey at Nobel and Greenough School in Dedham, MA, where he had a strong season, scoring 26 goals and adding 30 assists in 26 games. Gilmour was the second overall pick by the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the United States Hockey League's draft in late May. Additionally, Gilmour also committed to play for Boston College.
Here is a little insight on Gilmour from the Muskegon website following his selection in May with a reminder of these young prospects are far from the finished product.
Interestingly, Gilmour averaged exactly two points per game in 2011-12 after scoring precisely one per outing (27 in 27) as a junior, a boost facilitated by growing accustomed to his newfound size and strength.
"Two years ago I went through a major growth spurt so it was tough getting used to," said the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder. "This year I really came into my own. I got quicker feet and became stronger on the puck. The extra reach really helps out there, also."
Gilmour is skilled at both playmaking and scoring, making him quite the challenging mark for opposing skaters. He's also not afraid to challenge himself, as his time at the academically rigorous Nobles prep can attest.
The Minnesota Wild didn't have to look far for their third round pick as they selected defenseman John Draeger from Faribault, Minnesota, where he has been playing prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's High School.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Draeger, who verbally committed to play for Michigan State, becomes the second defenseman picked by the Wild. They chose Matthew Dumba in the first round as an attempt to shore up their blue line.
Here is what The Hockey News writer Ryan Kennedy reported about Draeger after watching him play this past season.
The top defenseman on Shattuck, Draeger is a physical blueliner known for his reach and quick feet. He can punish with his 6-foot-2, 186-pound frame, but also showed some nice touch against Milwaukee, scoring on a beautiful penalty shot move.
"I like to be that all-around player," Draeger said. "Help out the team offensively, defensively...be that guy who shows the younger guys the way and help them out."
The Minnesota Wild looked to bolster their offense in the second round of the NHL draft after adding defenseman Matthew Dumba in the first round. With the 46th overall pick in the second round, the Wild selected left winger Raphael Bussieres.
The 6-foor-1, 195-pound Bussieres has played junior hockey the last three seasons in his native Quebec for Baie-Comeau Drakkar. He had 21 goals and 23 assists in 56 games this past season. Bussieres is not afraid to mix it up, earning a suspension in the playoffs for a late hit.
Here his what Bussieres had to say about his style of play earlier in the year.
"I can go get the puck in the corner and create space for my teammate and I have a good hockey sense," says Bussières, who is ranked 57th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. "I try to bring energy."
With defensemen flying off the board early in the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday night, the Minnesota Wild decided to join the fray by selecting 17-year old Matthew Dumba from the Red Deer Rebels.
Dumba has shown he has the potential to by a dynamic defenseman in the years to come with the ability to make plays all over the ice. Now the Wild will have to develop his skill into an NHL-caliber defenseman to go along with top Wild prospect Jonas Brodin.
According to Peter Loubardias who scouts Red Deer, Dumba was worthy of joining the other defenseman selected at the top of the draft board.
"He's a game-changer," said Peter Loubardias, a Canadian TV analyst who scouts for Red Deer. "He can do it all, and at the end of the day, you've got a passionate, caring, want-to-be-the-best, wants-to-win-at-all-costs guy. He's got a heart as big as a bathtub."
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher also liked the skills Dumba displays to go along with his penchant for physical play.
"It's hard to find skilled right-shot defensemen, and to find somebody that shoots the puck that hard, skates that well and has a physical edge, it's a rare package," Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said.
It sounds like Dumba will be the type of player who can sell tickets as well as help win games for the Wild in the future.
The Minnesota Wild were presented with an interesting choice with the seventh overall pick yesterday. With offensive prospects Filip Forsberg, Teuvo Teravainen and Mikhail Grigorenko, and defensive players Cody Ceci and Jacob Trouba still available, the Wild stuck to their list and selected defensive Mathew Dumba. Dumba fills a hole in the Wild's development system, giving them a Brent Burns style player that has range, hits hard, skates well, and can play in both ends of the ice.
Wild fans may have been surprised to see the WIld take Dumba over the offensive power available, but it was the right move for the organization. Chuck Fletcher and Brent Flahr have shown some prowess in the drafting arena, and have earned the trust of the fan base in that venue.
Today, the Wild hold six picks, one in each round, including the 46th overall pick in the second round. That pick was part of the return from the Marke Zidlicky trade with the Devils, and replaces the 37th overall pick sent to the San Jose Sharks in the Devin Setoguchi and Brent Burns trade. The Wild also hold the 7th pick in the final five rounds, giving them ample opportunity to put together some trades to move up in the draft, something Flether has shown a penchant for in the past.
There is still plenty of talent on the board, and if the results hold to yesterday's pattern, players like Colton Sissions, Sebastian Collberg, Pontus Aberg, Matt Finn, Ludvig Bystrom, Dalton Thrower, or Phil Di Guiseppe may just be part of the Wild organization by the end of the day. Any of those players would be very welcome in an already stacked prospect corps.
One thing you can count on is that the Wild will be active, whether it be sticking with their own picks or making moves to acquire others. There is still the possibility of some big trades to be made with names like Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, and Roberto Luongo still being floated. The Wild may not be in on those, but it adds some subtext to an already exciting NHL draft, and provides story lines to follow to get through what is considered one of the more boring events.
The pomp and circumstance of the first round is replaced with speed picking and paperwork as the NHL draft wraps up. Yet, picks made in rounds 2-7 can make or break a franchise. Stay tuned, and watch as Fletcher and the Wild add more talent to the system.
The New York Rangers selecting incoming University of Minnesota freshman Brady Skjei with the No. 28 pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. Skjei is the first Gophers hockey player to be drafted in the first round since Nick Bjugstad was picked in 2010 at No. 19 by the Florida Panthers.
Last year's draft was also the first in a decade not to feature a Minnesota-born player selected in the first round. A defenseman, Skjei is known for his strong skating ability and two-way presence.
Skjei hails from Lakeville, Minn. He spent his freshman and sophomore years in his hometown before leaving to join the United States National Team Development Program as a high school junior. He was part of a gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 2012 Under-18 World Championships.
For more NHL Draft news, stay with this StoryStream and head over to SB Nation's NHL hub. For more on the Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. For more reaction from the Rangers on the pick, check out Blueshirt Banter.
The Minnesota Wild added defenseman Mathew Dumba of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels with the seventh pick in the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday night. Dumba was the fifth blueliner selected among the top seven picks. How are Wild fans reacting to the decision to draft Dumba?
Reaction to Dumba at Hockey Wilderness, SB Nation's Wild blog, was positive.
Dumba meets every single one of our needs. Dumba was always talked about as having one of the top upsides in the draft, as much impact potential as Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk.
The problems were his defensive game as he is a risk taker, and some of those risks sometimes don't pay out.
But imagine a Brodin-Dumba duo. A mobile unit with one guy who is a wizard in the offensive zone and one guy who is a wizard in the defensive zone. Seems like a match made in heaven. Positives and negatives attract.
He wasn't my first choice, but I don't see why I didn't have him as such. He is top in almost every single category in this draft class besides defensive game, but even that, he is arguably decent.
Dumba, who turns 18 in July, may require some seasoning before joining the Wild. Hockey Wilderness explains:
Dumba is dominate in the WHL, is already NHL ready in terms of athleticism, and has tons of offense to offer. But his flaws in learning when to make a big hit or just to make a simple play, is something he needs to slowly develop. That isn't something you fix over night.
A safe range would be 2-4 years, one more year in the WHL, then at least one year in the AHL. Maybe a bit longer if he struggles abit.
The Minnesota Wild selected defenseman Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Dumba led all WHL blueliners with 20 goals last season. He had a total of 57 points in 69 games. He won the rookie of the year award in 2010-2011 with the Rebels, and was graded as the sixth best North American skater by TSN.
Here's what SB Nation's Wild blog, Hockey Wilderness, said about Dumba earlier this year:
A high risk/high reward type of player.
One of the best skaters in the draft, one of the best hitters in the draft, and one of the best shooters in the draft. All rolled into one package called Dumba.
He is also electrifying, a game-breaker and recently served as captain to the U-18 Team Canada team.
Even though the Minnesota Wild are slotted to pick 7th overall in Friday's 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the temptation to trade up for a can't-miss player could prove too enticing for the organization.
But while Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher believes that his squad will stay firm at No. 7 and benefit from the deep draft class, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Michael Russo could not help but notice a pair of conversations Fletcher had with Winnipeg and Toronto on the floor of Friday's event:
Talked to Chuck Fletcher a few hours ago. Thought the #mnwild would be standing pat at 7. Not moving up or down. However, ...— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) June 22, 2012
Fletcher just had conversations on draft floor with Winnipeg, which selects 2 back, and Toronto, which selects 2 ahead.— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) June 22, 2012
Innocent or not, the Maple Leafs currently own the 5th pick and the Winnepeg Jets hold the 9th spot, so there's enough merit here to question the possibilities The Wild could easily swap positions with either of these teams for a manageable price if necessary, and could conceivably pick up an added player/future pick by dropping down to No. 9 to take the guy they would've selected 7th.
When the 2012 NHL Draft kicks off on Friday night from Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh, the Minnesota Wild (barring a trade, of course) will hold ownership of the No. 7 overall selection. With the depth of this year's class providing several players outside of the top-five that are projected to be viable prospects at the NHL level, the Wild are sitting in a position of power at No. 7.
Below is the list of players drafted 7th overall ever since the draft was turned into a seven round event rather than the previous nine rounds.
Year Team Name Player Name Position 2011 Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele C 2010 Carolina Hurricanes Jeff Skinner C 2009 Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri C 2008 Nashville Predators Colin Wilson C 2007 Columbus Blue Jackets Jakub Voracek RW 2006 New York Islanders Kyle Okposo RW 2005 Chicago Blackhawks Jack Skille RW
Those are the previous 7th overall picks and those are some impressive names. While the jury is still out on Mark Scheifele and Nazen Kadri, with the exception of Jack Skille, all have produced relatively good talent. Arguably, all of them have top six potential.
To read the entire article, click here.
In what is a very, very deep NHL draft, it's not that bad a situation to be out of the top five picks. The Minnesota Wild, with the seventh overall pick in the draft, will have their pick of all sorts of top prospects.
According to the Star Tribune, some of the best that will be available to the Wild are going to be defensemen, with four or five differently skilled ones potentially topping the draft board:
The Wild, picking seventh, should have its pick of four or five high-end defensemen, and they are all very different.
Griffin Reinhart has all the tools. Mathew Dumba: a big hitter with the big shot. Morgan Rielly: great skater. Cody Ceci: offensive whiz.
And Jacob Trouba will put you right through the glass.
Defense was a bit of a problem for the Wild last season at times, and they made a lot of moves to try and improve it. Teams like the Buffalo Sabres with Tyler Myers proved that a big, young defenseman can make all the difference in the world for a squad, so in such a deep defensive draft it seems perfectly logical for the Wild to go D on Friday night.
With so many options available, the selection the Wild make may just come down to what type of guy they're looking for. Of course, there's no guarantee that a defenseman will be the one taken in a draft with so much talent on all sides, as Wild Assistant GM Brent Flahr reminds us:
"If you look at the [Mikael] Granlund draft in 2010, that was the one time where we clearly needed skill up front and we were aggressive on that," Flahr said. "We knew even if we went by a defenseman, we had to get skill for the organization at forward.
"Now we're at a point where you can say we need defensemen, but you still have to take the best player. A lot of these players are a year or two away, sometimes three or four, from being impactful players."
It's draft weekend for the NHL and the Minnesota Wild have a good chance to add some top talent with their seventh overall selection. In what's being considered one of the deepest drafts in a while, there will be all sorts of players available to Minnesota and there's no real consensus on who they're most likely to pick with needs all over the ice.
The Edmonton Oilers will kick things off with the first overall selection, a familiar spot for Edmonton in recent years, and are widely expected to pick up another dynamic offensive player. Right winger Nail Yakupov out of the Sarnia Sting in the OHL is considered the best player in the draft by a lot of people and he's almost assuredly going first overall, either to Edmonton or an enterprising team that feels like trading up.
Here's the details on the draft, kicking off Friday evening:
Date: Friday, June 22 (first round) and Saturday, June 23 (second through seventh rounds)
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: Friday - 7:00 p.m. ET, Saturday - 10:00 a.m. ET
TV: Friday - NBC Sports Network, TSN (Canada), Saturday - NHL Network
Radio: NHL Home Ice SiriusXM: Ch. 92 (Sirius 207)
The 2012 NHL Draft takes place on Friday night at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh where the Edmonton Oilers will start the festivities with the top overall pick.
The Minnesota Wild will be waiting in the wings to tap their first round selection with the 7th overall pick. According to Hockey Wilderness, the Wild would love to take a top defenseman in the first round but if Griffin Reinhart and Jacob Trouba are selected in the first six picks, the Wild may have to settle for the best talent available and fill a goal-scoring need.
Minnesota has the 16th pick in the second round (46th overall) then the 7th pick in the third round (68th overall), fourth round (98th overall), fifth round (128th overall), sixth round (158th overall) and seventh round (188th overall).
A complete draft listing for all teams can be found here.
The guy that some people are calling the best skater in the 2012 NHL draft is coming from Lakeville, Minnesota. Brady Skjei is widely expected to be taken in the first round of the draft this season after honing his defense and skating abilities in Minnesota high school hockey as well as the USA Hockey national development team program.
Most mock drafts and analysts have Skjei going somewhere in the middle of the first round in the draft, which means that his hometown Minnesota Wild probably won't have a shot at him, at least not without getting labeled as reaching for a player.
Still, he's gotten some rave reviews from his coaches and from analysts who think he'll make a fine defenseman in the NHL once drafted:
"What he's developed more than anything is the confidence in his game," said Button. "He became very assured of his play on the ice. He's an excellent skater, and I mean his balance, agility and quickness. He gets the puck out of trouble real quick, and he does it with a good pass or skating four feet to open up a lane.
"And while he doesn't put up a lot of points, he's a guy that'll help your offense. Because his skating is so good, he'll hold the offensive blue line and not back out. And he'll get the puck out of his own zone and get it forward."
From all that we've heard, we can expect to hear Skjei's name called on Friday night in Pittsburgh.
For SB Nation's official NHL Mock Draft, bloggers for each team pick the player they think is the best available. And the Minnesota Wild delegation selected defenseman Jacob Trouba in the first round.
From the Hockey Wilderness breakdown of Trouba:
The Minnesota Wild are poised to add some solid talent, selecting seventh overall, but will it be a defenseman or a forward?
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