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Wild to select 7th in NHL Draft

  • Blog Post by: Michael Russo
  • April 10, 2012 - 7:48 PM

The Edmonton Oilers hopped over the Columbus Blue Jackets to win the NHL Draft lottery for the third consecutive year. The consensus No. 1 pick is Nail Yakupov, the Russian-born, dynamic Sarnia Sting forward.

Barring an Oilers trade, he will likely join the past two No. 1 overall picks, Ryan-Nugent Hopkins and Taylor Hall, and young star Joran Eberle, in Edmonton. 

The Wild, which had a 4.7 percent chance of winning the lottery and jumping up to No. 3 overall, instead retains the No. 7 overall pick. This draft is defenseman-heavy, and with so many young forwards about to be infused into the organization (Mikael Granlund, Brett Bulmer, Charlie Coyle, Johan Larsson, Jason Zucker and Zack Phillips), there's a chance the Wild goes this route in a draft that is considered defenseman-heavy in the top-10.

That doesn't mean at all it's a definite. The Wild will always take the best player available, so if a stud like Alex Galchenyuk fell to them, I'd think they'd go forward in a heartbeat.

Here is the top-11 North American skaters according to Central Scouting Service

RANK PLAYER TEAM LEAGUE HEIGHT WEIGHT POSITION
1 YAKUPOV, NAIL SARNIA OHL 5' 10.5" 189 RW
2 MURRAY, RYAN EVERETT WHL 6' 0.5" 195 D
3 GRIGORENKO, MIKHAIL QUEBEC QMJHL 6' 3.0" 200 C
4 GALCHENYUK, ALEX SARNIA OHL 6' 0.5" 198 C
5 RIELLY, MORGAN MOOSE JAW WHL 5' 11.5" 190 D
6 CECI, CODY OTTAWA OHL 6' 2.5" 207 D
7 FAKSA, RADEK KITCHENER OHL 6' 2.5" 203 C
8 MAATTA, OLLI  LONDON OHL 6' 1.5" 202 D
9 TROUBA, JACOB USA U-18 USHL 6' 2.0" 193 D
10 REINHART, GRIFFIN EDMONTON WHL 6' 3.75" 197 D
11 DUMBA, MATHEW RED DEER WHL 5' 11.75" 173 D

Here's the top-12 European skaters according to Central Scouting Service

RANK PLAYER TEAM LEAGUE HEIGHT WEIGHT POSITION
1 FORSBERG, FILIP LEKSAND SWEDEN-2 6' 2.0" 181 C
2 TERAVAINEN, TEUVO JOKERIT FINLAND 5' 11.0" 165 LW
3 COLLBERG, SEBASTIAN FROLUNDA SWEDEN 5' 11.0" 176 RW
4 LINDHOLM, HAMPUS ROGLE JR. SWE-JR. 6' 2.5" 196 D
5 HERTL, TOMAS SLAVIA CZREP 6' 2.0" 198 C
6 ABERG, PONTUS DJURGARDEN SWEDEN 5' 11.0" 194 LW
7 POKKA, VILLE KARPAT FINLAND 6' 0.0" 196 D
8 BYSTROM, LUDWIG MODO JR. SWE-JR. 6' 0.75" 208 D
9 PROKHORKIN, NIKOLAY CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR. 6' 2.5" 191 LW
10 SLEPYSHEV, ANTON NOVOKUZNETSK RUSSIA 6' 2.0" 187 LW
11 VAINONEN, MIKKO HIFK JR. FINLAND-JR. 6' 3.0" 205 D
12 LINDELL, ESA JOKERIT JR. FINLAND-JR. 6' 3.0" 194 D

Rielly is considered the best offensive defenseman. Trouba, Reinhart and Dumba are all considered high-end. TSN analyst Craig Button had the Wild taking Reinhart in his mock draft.

Here is TSN Insider Bob McKenzie's top-10/11

You'll be reading a lot more about the draft in June, which takes place in Pittsburgh June 22-23.

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