From: Las Vegas
A few things from Hockey Wilderness:
Elite Prospects Draft Grade:
Minnesota Wild: A
Based on the work of our scouting staff this season, it's easy to see why we're enamoured with Minnesota's draft class. Seven of their eight picks were ranked inside our top-110, headlined by Liam Öhgren. With incredible production and a projectable style of play, it's easy to envision Öhgren bringing his dual-threat game to Minnesota's top-nine in a couple of years.
Danila Yurov brings tools and defensive ability – a combination that could be moulded into greater impact. In the mid-second, they took Hunter Haight, one of the draft's most gifted puckhandlers. While he didn't score much, his skill level popped in nearly every one of our viewings.
With a never-ending motor, puck protection skill, and an intelligent off-puck game, Mikey Milne's a soon-to-be coach's dream. Servác Petrovský and Rieger Lorenz could be, too. And Ryan Healey's combination of activation, handling skill, and physicality make him one of the most exciting blue-liners in the draft.
Really, our only qualm with this group is David Spacek, a mid-scoring re-entry from the QMJHL. Even then, he shows enough patience, deception, and playmaking from the point to justify a late-round flier.
This is just getting silly. The Wild have arguably picked the steal of the draft for three consecutive years. It’s not as big of a steal as picking Marco Rossi at #9 or Jesper Wallstedt at #20, but getting a potential first-line winger in Yurov at #24 has the potential to be another instance of highway robbery for Bill Guerin.
Things are looking up in Minnesota after losing Kevin Fiala. Considering his public desire to leave, I think Guerin did well getting Brock Faber and the pick that turned into Öhgren in return – especially because it facilitated them taking a swing on Yurov.
In three summers, when the Wild are out of cap hell, they may well be one of the Stanley Cup favourites. Until then, they can keep feasting in the mid-late first round of the draft.