Theft At 20: Three Potential Draft Steals For The Minnesota Wild


The 2015 NHL Entry Draft has two top-end choices that’ll go first and second overall: Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. After that, the top 10 remains a strong group. Barring a trade, the Minnesota Wild will be selecting 20th overall. Here are a few players that might still be available around then that could be steals for the Wild.

1. Timo Meier went from scoring 14 goals and 14 assists over 66 games in 2013-14 for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL to putting up 44 goals and 46 assists in only 61 games during 2014-15. He’s listed as 6-foot-1, 209 pounds, and could turn into the game-breaking scorer the Wild has sought since the departure of Marian Gaborik. The left-handed shot plays his off-wing, and hails from Switzerland – home of another shooter named Nino Niederreiter.

The Mooseheads lost out in the second round this season to the Moncton Wildcats, but Meier contributed 10 goals and 11 assists over 14 games. He’s definitely enjoyed playing on the top line with Winnipeg draft pick Nikolaj Ehlers, but seems to be a good pick for a team looking to inject some size and skill into their lineup. Meier was also effective in the world juniors this year, recording two goals and four assists in six games.

2. Oliver Kylington was slated to play for Sweden in the World Championships, but never got the chance, as’s Chris Stevenson reported the left-shot defenseman was injured against Canada during an exhibition game. This might hurt Kylington’s draft stock enough for him to fall to the Wild.

Kylington is six foot, 181 pounds, and doesn’t play a physical style on the back end. Rather, like Wild defenseman (also Swedish) Jonas Brodin, Kylington relies on hockey IQ, skating, and an accurate pass to move the puck north. He looks like he has more offensive upside than Brodin, however, as he potted a point-per-game over 21 games in Sweden’s top junior hockey league during 2013-14, and chipped in with two goals and three assists in 18 games with Farjestad in Sweden’s top league as a 17-year-old this past season.

3. Travis Konecny of the OHL’s Ottawa 67s is a right-handed center that plays an abrasive game that suggests he looms larger than his 5-foot-10, 172-pound figure. Konecny was the first overall selection in the 2013 OHL draft, won the OHL rookie of the year for 2013-14, and has an aggregate 138 points over 123 games with Ottawa.

He’s got hockey in his blood, as Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat is his cousin. But he will have to reign in his aggression if he wants to stay healthy in the pros. Konecny missed one game in Ottawa’s first-round exit against the Niagara Ice Dogs, though he did record three goals and seven assists over the five games he played.