Minnesota Wild Take Four on Draft Day 2

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Day Two of the Draft for the Minnesota Wild was largely uneventful with only three players selected.  Still these three players are solid values who will be assets in the Wild system very soon.

Day two of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft was a long one for the Minnesota Wild and their staff.  With only three picks yesterday and no plans to trade for any more, the Wild’s day in Buffalo was certainly not as eventful as some teams.  As expected the Wild picked in once in the fourth round and twice in the seventh round.  It may have been a boring experience if you were watching just to see the Wild pick, but in the end the Wild did add three pieces to the organization with strong potential.

It may have taken 76 picks to get to them, but the Wild used their fourth round pick 106th overall to select Brandon Duhaime of the Tri-City Storm.  The USHL standout is described as a strong two-way player who uses size well, but brings a ton of grit to the game.  He helped Tri-City to the USHL championship after being traded from Chicago.  He notched a strong 42 points (15 goals and 27 assists) between Chicago and Tri-City, and was on about a point a game pace to include a six game point streak just before Christmas.

Duhaime of course has a few more seasons of maturing to do before he sees action in Iowa.  The 19 year-old is well on his way to doing that though as he’ll join a very strong NCAA program next year at Providence College.  What should be best to see is if his scoring can mature a bit more, but right now Duhaime has got the drive and grinding play that will get him well on the road to signing that contract with the Wild.

Related Story: Minnesota Wild Use the 15th Overall Pick on Luke Kunin

After selecting Duhaime the waiting started again.  The Wild would wait even longer to select again as it would be 90 picks before the Wild announced who would be their first of two seventh round selections.  The Wild used the 196th overall pick on Dmitry Sokolov a speedy Russian, only the second Russian ever drafted by Chuck Fletcher, who actually was the third overall pick in last season’s OHL draft.  The Star Tribune reported him as “Top-15 kid coming into the year, injury and conditioning caused him to fall. He had an off year and he still scored 30 goals.”

More from Wild News

Sokolov is the opposite kind of forward than Kunin and Duhaime who has been criticized for his lack of two-way play, but he’s a pure scorer.  His 30 goals with Sudbury were impressive, but his -40 plus/minus rating was not impressive.  Still he’s a pure scorer that the Wild need, and the fact that he was taken in the seventh round is a value for sure.

After selecting Sokolov the Wild would finally not have a long wait to make their next and last selection at the 204th overall pick.  The Wild would call Braydyn Chizen’s name with their last pick and add their only defensemen of the draft.  Chizen is a huge defensemen standing at an astounding 6 feet 8 inches with 190 pounds behind him.  With Kelowna in the WHL last season, Chizen was not much of a scorer but used his size effectively as a defense first defensemen.  Largely though he should be considered to be a development project and will need to grow into his size a little more.  However, his upside is huge and it doesn’t really cost the Wild much to find out if he will develop.

Next: Vanek's Buyout is Nothing to Cheer

In the end it was a solid draft considering that the Wild only picked three times.  The writing was on the wall that Fletcher was not going to trade for anymore picks, so the Wild got what we all expected.  All things considered though the Wild drafted well with what they had.  Lots of value here and while you might not even see any of today’s draftees up with Iowa or Minnesota anytime soon, you can certainly say they all have the ability to make it there.  But if you’re not excited that’s okay…the exciting stuff is ahead this week when free-agency starts on Friday, and who knows if a trade goes down before that too.  Stay tuned!