Minnesota Wild: Fletcher Not Looking to Add More Draft Picks


With only four pick in this year’s draft many thought the Minnesota Wild would be looking to make a few trades to get back a few picks they had lost.  Yesterday GM Chuck Fletcher made comments that suggest the Wild will more than likely not trade for any picks to add to the four they already have.

The question of if the Minnesota Wild are going to trade to increase their number of picks in this year’s draft has just been answered.  Yesterday at the team’s annual draft luncheon Michael Rand of the Star Tribune reported that GM Chuck Fletcher is comfortable with the number of picks the Wild have.  Fletcher was quoted as saying “I’d like to avoid continually trading future picks to keep kicking the can down the road, I’d rather pay the bill this year”, suggesting that the Wild will be staying pat in what they already have pick wise.

Fletcher isn’t interested in paying future bills for draft picks now.  He understands the implications of his past moves on the draft now and is looking to use this year as a correction year that will get the Wild back on the healthy side as far as picks in future drafts are concerned.  If the Wild look to start the process of righting the ship now, they’ll have a bright future that includes all but a second round pick next year and complete complement of picks the year after that.

Fletcher’s view of the draft class has a lot to do with this decision as well.  Rand quoted Fletcher as saying that “I’m not sure this year’s draft is as deep as last year’s in terms of quality after the first round, so certainly we’re thrilled that last year we got a lot of good picks and had a great draft.”  He goes on to say that “This year we’ll get a great player in the first round, a great prospect. After that we’ll see what happens.”

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“This year we’ll get a great player in the first round, a great prospect. After that we’ll see what happens.”                  – Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, from Star Tribune

That confirms most of the previous messaging about this draft.  Last season Fletcher was repeatedly quoted as saying that the Wild’s first round pick was not on the negotiating table, suggesting that he saw the first round pick as an important piece because of the talent level he perceived available in the later rounds.  He saw this situation of bare draft picks coming and was looking to bring in another top young talent with the 15th overall pick, but did not want to gamble any other team assets on the players in the later rounds.

Additionally, if Fletcher doesn’t see talent in the later rounds then why spend to try to get it?  When teams trade for draft picks at or just before the draft it is mostly done to acquire a certain player that could be picked with the acquired pick.  Right now the Wild don’t see any players that they would want to trade any valuable pieces to acquire a pick to draft.

As pointed out before the Wild have already re-stocked their talent pool through entry-level free agency.  The recent signings of defenseman Mike Reilly last offseason, forward Sam Anas in April, and goaltender Adam Vay last month gives the Wild the ability to be less concerned or have to rush into a deal to trade to get picks.   These signings have already infused their system with talented young players who will pay quicker dividends than a draft pick this year who might not even see action in the Wild’s system for a couple of years.

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So if you were hoping the Wild were going to pick up a few more picks in this draft, it’s looking like you’ll be disappointed.  Fletcher’s words pretty much speak for themselves.  Still understand that the organization actually has the right sight picture on this one as they look to normalize the next couple of draft years and keep valuable pieces to acquire bigger fish in the offseason trade market.  Still tune in Friday because the 15th overall pick will be an exciting one for sure.