The Minnesota Wild once drafted Nick Leddy, a player that was at the time committed to the University of Minnesota. They didn’t hold on to the player though; whether that should be seen as a regret or not, it’s hard to say.
It all starts when the Minnesota Wild traded their first round draft pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
The draft pick (12th overall) that ended up with the New York Islanders was turned into Calvin de Haan. He has since morphed into a very solid defenseman, playing 304 times with the Islanders, netting 12 goals and adding 69 assists.
His true strength is his defensive prowess; his Corsi For score sitting around the 50+ range across the majority of his stint on Long Island; likewise his hitting and shot-blocking totals scream strong stay-at-home defenseman. He now finds himself with the Carolina Hurricanes after taking a shot at free agency; the possession-driven style of his new team suiting his skills perfectly.
In return for that draft pick, the Islanders surrendered their first, third and seventh round picks. That seemed like a huge haul at the time; it’s even bigger when you look at the players they then drafted with the picks.
Defenseman Nick Leddy was acquired with the 16th overall selection, goaltender Matt Hackett (with a pick originally belonging to the Columbus Blue Jackets) and winger Erik Haula were picked up with the Islanders’ picks.
Ironically, Nick Leddy is most known for wearing an Islanders jersey these days; that was where his pick originally started!
When we look at these draft picks as Minnesota Wild players though; it’s a poor return for them – Nick Leddy never actually suited up for the team. He represents a player that could’ve been quite useful for the Wild, especially in the days before they’d found a home for Devan Dubnyk.
Moving on to Matt Hackett, picked up at 77th overall and the ever-challenging skill that is drafting a goaltender.
He actually did suit up for the Minnesota Wild in the 2011-12 NHL season, playing twelve games and performing very well; a 2.37 goals against average and 0.922 save percentage was a very impressive start to his NHL career. Unfortunately, it fell apart the next year with a single game and a 5.08 goals against average and save percentage of 0.848%.
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These days he finds himself playing in Slovakia, so needless to say, despite showing signs of being able to make it, he never did quite stick it.
Finally, the last draft pick given up by the Islanders (182nd overall) was the one used on Erik Haula.
He proved to be a steal in the seventh round, suiting up for the Minnesota Wild over the course of four seasons. 34 points was his season-high for the team; not bad when you consider how late he was drafted.
A stable performer that could be relied upon; the Minnesota Wild made a questionable decision, no doubt now tinged with regret, when they gave him up in the Expansion Draft to the Vegas Golden Knights.
This isn’t the end of where the Nick Leddy trade went though. That single Minnesota draft pick used by the Islanders to pick him has far more trades left in it!