The Minnesota Wild selected Alex Tuch with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The 18 year old hails from Baldwinsville New York and was one of 4 Americans taken in the 1st round. Tuch is a right wing who stands 6’3″ and weighs in at 213 lbs. Tuch was the second American taken. Sonny Milano was the first, selected by the Columbus Blue jackets two picks earlier.
Alex Tuch is a right hand shot who comes to the Minnesota Wild organization out of the USHL’s U.S. National Under 18 Team. In 61 games last season he scored 29 goals and added 35 assists for 64 total points. Tuch totaled an impressive +35 rating for the season with just 72 penalty minutes. He also played on Team USA which took home the gold medal in the 2014 Under-18 World Championships.
In his 1st year with the USNDT Tuch scored at a slower pace, with just 11 goals with 14 assists over 56 games. In his two USHL seasons Tuch totaled just 104 PIMS . Overall Alex showed improvement across the board in just about all statistical categories in his second season. Overall the USNDT team based in Ann Arbor Michigan has 241 alumni who are playing or havde played in the NHL.
Alex Tuch is committed to play for the Boston College this coming season. That would be the case if he doesn’t turn pro and play for the Iowa Wild (AHL) or Minnesota Wild (NHL). With the current number of forwards under contract with the NHL Wild and a full cupboard of prospects in Des Moines it’s highly probable Tuch will play for the BC Eagles in 2014-15. He will however get his first taste of the NHL this September at the Wild’s training camp.
Tuch’s Combination of size and skill could have him developing into an elite power forward at the NHL level. At just 18 years he will most likely add another 15-25 pounds of muscle to his 6’3″ frame as he matures physically. The Wild have the potential to add another big, strong, physical power forward to the roster in addition to Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter. That is an exciting development for a team moving toward become a true Stanley Cup contender in the near future.
Alex Tuch appears to have the skills, size, drive, and passion to make it to the NHL as a member of the Minnesota Wild. The question is will he be able to package those items together to make the Wild his NHL hockey home. Over the years the Wild have been somewhat hit or miss on their first round picks in the NHL Entry Draft. They’ve had the hits; Marian Gaborik, Brent Burns, Mikko Koivu and the misses A.J. Thelan, Tyler Cuma, and Colton Gillies.
This year, at first glance, it appears that the Minnesota Wild have done well with their first round pick. Despite rumors they would take a goal tender or a big defenseman the Wild went a different route. Minnesota chose what they thought to be the best player available when their time on the clock started.
Time will tell if Alex Tuch becomes a key piece in the Minnesota Wild’s quest to hoist lord Stanley’s Cup. Up next on Gone Puck Wild we’ll look at more of Minnesota’s 2014 draft picks.
Following is a list of all 30 first round picks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft:
(The trades listed were made during the first round.)
(Pick No., Team, Player Name, Country of Birth)
1st Florida Panthers, Aron Ekblad, Canada
2nd Buffalo Sabres, Sam Reinhart, Canada
3rd Edmonton Oilers, Leon Draisaitl, Germany (No German has ever been selected earlier)
4th Calgary Flames, Sam Bennett, Canada
5th New York Islanders, Michael Dal Colle, Canada
6th Vancouver Canucks, Jake Virtanen, Canada
7th Carolina Hurricanes, Hayden Fleury, Canada
8th Toronto Maple Leafs, William Nylander, Sweden
9th Winnipeg Jets, Nikolaj Ehlers, Denmark (2nd highest Dane ever taken in draft)
10th Anaheim Ducks, Nick Ritchie, Canada
11th Nashville Predators, Kevin Fiala, Sweden
12th Arizona Coyotes, Brendan Perlini, Canada
13th Washington Capitals, Jakubb Vrana, Czech Republic
14th Dallas Stars, Julius Honka, Finland
15th Detroit Red Wings, Dylan Larkin, Canada
16th Columbus Bue Jackets, Sonny Milano, United States
17th Philadelphia Flyers, Travis Sanheim, Canada
18th Minnesota Wild, Alex Tuch, United States
19th Tampa Bay Lightning, Anthony Deangelo, United States
20th Chicago Blackhawks, Nick Schmaltz, United States
21st St. Louis Blues, Rob Fabri, Canada
22nd Pittsburgh Penguins, Kasperi Kapanen, Finland
23rd Colorado Avalanche, Conner Bleackley, Canada
24th Vancouver Canucks, Jared McCann, Canada
25th Boston Bruins, David Pastrnak, Czech Republic
26th Montreal Canadiens, Nikita Scherbak, Russia
27th San Jose Sharks, Nikolay Goldobin
28th Tampa Bay Lightning, Joshua Ho-Sang, Canada
29th Los Angeles Kings, Adrian Kempe, Sweden
30th New Jersey Devils, John Quenneville, Canada