NHL Entry Draft: Minnesota Wild set to roll dice at No. 24 again
The last time the Minnesota Wild held pick No. 24 in the NHL Entry Draft, the team took defenseman Filip Johansson.
That selection in 2018 didn’t exactly pan out for the franchise.
Minnesota did not sign the prospect, who played three years in his native Swedish Hockey League and instead, as an unrestricted free agent, the 22-year-old signed a two-year, entry-level deal with Vancouver this month.
Live and learn.
Now the Wild – baring any trades – will be rolling the dice again at No. 24 ahead of the draft that beginson July 7 in Montreal.
It’s only the second time in franchise history that the Wild have been at No. 24, but there are some
notable Minnesotans selected in that position before.
The St. Louis Blues picked Warroad native T.J. Oshie in that spot in 2005, and the North Stars drafted Richfield-native Steve Christoff in 1978, and just a few seasons later, he helped the franchise reach the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Islanders.
Could the Wild find a gem at No. 24 that might help the franchise make a Stanley Cup run in the future? Well, at least get beyond the first round of the postseason?
That question remains to be answered as well as who that person might be.
There are a few mock drafts that differ in players but both have the Wild choosing a forward in the spot.
Scott Wheeler of the Athletic has the Wild choosing Russian forward Danila Yurov. He wrote Isaac
Howard, a left winger with the National Team Development Program, would be a solid choice at the spot too if he is available.
The Wild, like the Ducks’ two picks in front of them, have a strong pool at C, D and G now, and are one of the teams in the best position to take a winger as a result. Because they’ve got one of the better pools in the league, on the whole, they can also afford to take a cut and take a bit ofa chance.
Yurov, a top-10 pick if all things were equal with the Russians (the reality is that they’re not at the moment) is the clear best player available, can play both wings, and could be a home run if they can get him over here.
Lyle Richardson of Bleacher Report has the Wild taking Jagger Firkus, a right winger who had 36 goals and 80 points in 66 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors this season.
Richardson stated that:
The Wild lack depth among their prospect right wingers. The possibility of Kevin Fiala becoming a salary-cap casualty could bring more urgency to filling that position. Firkus’ offensive skills could prove enticing.
There could be a number of enticing options for the Wild at No. 24. The hope is that it turns out to be the right one.