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.