Minnesota Wild Story Lines To Watch On Draft Day


Happy Draft Day hockey fans! It’s a day that has been noisy in the past for the Minnesota Wild (remember the Brent Burns trade in 2011), and there certainly are some stories to keep tabs on this year.

Devan Dubnyk

Can GM Chuck Fletcher work out a deal with 2014-15’s Masterton Trophy winner and Vezina finalist? It isn’t necessary that an agreement is reached today in order for the goalie to stay in St. Paul, and the Star Tribune’s Mike Russo has reported the two sides are not far off in terms of dollar figures (he reports Minnesota is willing to commit to an AAV of the lower-$4 million range, while Dubnyk has come down to the upper-$4 million range). Term still sounds like an issue, according to Russo, with Minnesota looking for a three or four-year deal, while Dubnyk may be aiming for double that.

But there are a lot of goalies available, and if Fletcher feels the camps won’t be able to meet where he feels comfortable, there is room for a trade. Especially since goalies are bringing in offers of first-round picks. Earlier today Robin Lehner was dealt from the Ottawa Senators, alongside David Legwand, to the Buffalo Sabres for the 21st selection in this draft. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported New York Rangers have been offered a first for Cam Talbot.

Mikael Granlund

The 23-year-old center is looking for his next contract as he’s hitting RFA status following this past season. Russo tweeted Granlund and the Wild are close to finalizing a deal.

It’s doubtful Granlund gets shipped over the next couple days unless something unruly happens. It’ll probably be another short-term contract for Granlund. His potential looks significantly higher than his production has been, so a bridge contract should give him a shot at cashing in a little further down the road (one to three years, I would predict).

Twentieth-Overall Pick

There will be good value available at 20, but that value may not be what the Fletcher feels the organization needs. If so, he could trade down and gather some later picks (it’s no secret he’s shipped a fair amount of second-round selections in recent years). There’s also the possibility the Wild trade up, although this would likely involve them send off a significant piece.

But it’s also very likely the stand pat and select at 20 overall. The organization could certainly use a top-six pivot with Mikko Koivu’s production declining (click here to read Derek Felska’s piece on the prospects of a Koivu trade) and Granlund’s ability to perform and stay healthy at the NHL level somewhat dubious, so they may target a center in the draft.

Mike Reilly

Initially free agent defenseman Mike Reilly, coming out of the University of Minnesota, was going to be a big part of this article… but he’s reportedly decided to sign with the Wild, according to Russo. The 21-year-old really solidifies the left-side depth on the blueline, giving Minnesota more offense and mobility. The area was lacking a high-end prospect close to making the NHL since Gustav Olofsson missed all but one game of 2014-15 due to shoulder surgery.