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.