This is a big week for Minnesota draft fanatics, as our two worst major teams begin their rebuilding processes this week.â†µ
On Thursday, the Timberwolves take part in their second draft with David Kahn in charge. In the first round, Minnesota holds the fourth pick, their own; Charlotte's #16, which the Wolves received from Denver during last year's draft in exchange for Ty Lawson; and Utah's #23, which Minnesota picked up from Philadelphia in a salary dump. In the second round, the Wolves have picks #45 and #56.â†µ
Of course, this is all subject to change, as rumors are still rife the Wolves will move up or down in the next four days. The draft is at 6:30 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, on ESPN.â†µ
Over in St. Paul, the Wild are also preparing for their second draft under a new regime. GM Chuck Fletcher has referred several times to draft picks as a "currency," so this is is week to spend a little capital, as it were. Minnesota owns the ninth pick in the first round, picks #39 and #56 (from Washington in the Eric Belanger) trade in the second round, and the ninth pick in every round thereafter, through all seven rounds.â†µ
Here, too, more wheeling and dealing could be afoot, as the Wild's prospect cupboard is a bit bare, and Fletcher would love to re-stock. The first round of the draft is at 6:00 Friday night, broadcast live from the Staples Center on Versus. Rounds 2-7 follow on Saturday at noon, on the NHL Network.