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Michael Russo gives you complete coverage of the Minnesota Wild and the NHL

Wild goes for as much skill as possible on Day 2 of the NHL draft

See below for quotes and insight from Senior VP of Hockey Operations Brent Flahr, who ran his eighth draft table with the Wild, on the Wild's six picks.

Also, check out my column on in a bit on what's next after no trades were made by the Wild this weekend.

The Wild, as GM Chuck Fletcher said, tried its best to "maximize their darts" by taking as much skill as they could, no matter the player's size, and then develop them.

Here are the Wild's picks from today. Click on the player's name and you'll see their elite prospects bio.

Third round, 85th overall
Position: Right wing
Height/weight: 5-10, 178
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
2016-17 team: Erie Otters (OHL)
Stats: 24 goals, 57 points in 66 games.

His parents are from the Ukraine and came to the U.S. with $100 in their pockets.

Fourth round, 97th overall
Position: Center
Height/weight: 5-9, 175
Hometown: Wainwright, Alberta.
2016-17 team: Medicine Hat (WHL)
Stats: 27 goals, 67 assists, 94 points (8th in the league) in 71 games.

Stud player for Lloydminster, and he's more of a playmaker. Buddies with Wild prospect Carson Soucy.

Fourth round, 116th overall
Position: Center
Height/weight: 6-2, 188
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta.
2016-17 team: Oakville (OJHL)
Stats: University of Vermont-bound, 26 goals, 62 points in 46 games.


Fifth round, 147th overall
Position: Defenseman.
Height/weight: 6-0, 182
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
2016-17 team: London (OHL)
Stats: Two assists in 38 games.

Sixth round, 178th overall
Position: Defenseman.
Height/weight: 6-0, 182
Hometown: Moscow, Russia.
2016-17 team: CSKA Moscow (KHL).
Stats: 4 goals, 16 points in 37 games; Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov’s teammate in the KHL and world juniors

Seventh round, 209th overall
Position: Center
Height/weight: 5-10, 178.
Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.
2016-17 team: Waterloo (USHL)
Stats: Former Lakeville South High player and future University of Minnesota-Duluth forward, 26 goals, 51 points in 47 games.

Flahr quotes

On getting skilled players:
Yeah that was our thought process going in, go for upside and obviously skill. Lodnia is a highly skilled kid. He played on an Eerie that was extremely deep. So I think late in the year he didn't get to play as much. You know, next year he's going to put up significantly higher numbers and he'll have more of an offensive role obviously. Mason Shaw we've seen playing for the national team before. He puts up big numbers already. He's a ball of energy, high character. He's one of those guys that our guys think has the chance to beat the odds. He'll run through a wall for his teammates and play in any situation. Just a character kid.

On getting value because these guys are small and we'll never make the NHL:
Yeah I think so. Especially at the point we were picking in the third and fourth round they're not going to have every asset compared to a pick in the first round or something. A lot of these guys have assets that we think will give them a chance to play.

On Misley:
Well he's a kid we're going to have to be patient with. He's got a very good skillset. He's got good hands and can see the ice. Physically he'll need time to develop but he's going to a college program where he'll get that opportunity. He had a strong year at the tier-two league. He played well in the tournaments when he had the chance.   

On Golden:
Golden is another kid that played on a very good London team so he didn't get to play a lot. He's an elite skater. He really moves the puck well. A couple of our guys that got to see him when he was playing early were really high on him. For where we got him we think it's a good pick at that point.

On "that Russian kid" (I couldn't pronouce his name on the spot):
Well he was on our list a couple years ago. Last year he played for the men's national team, he played for CSKA, and our guys followed him. He's a very smart player. He played both ways. For a young player he's already playing on the men's national team which says a lot about what they think of him over there. He's under contact for a couple more years. We'll have to find out all the details. He's a guy at that point we wanted to throw in the hopper.

On whether it was a tactical move with Kaprizov there:
No. He was on our list before that.

On if it helps that he's played with Kaprizov:
Well they played on the same line two world juniors ago for part of the tournament. He's a competitive kid but he's also a very smart player both offensively and on the defensive side of the puck.

“Swaney is a kid, obviously he’s gone through a couple of drafts, but Waterloo, he’s a very, very smart player on offensive side of the puck. He’s gotta get stronger, probably a step quicker but he’s ... we talked when we were going through names at teh end, we were talking about a kid, if you don’t draft him, you’re going to be chasing him as a free agent in a couple years. We can get him to camps and help work with him. We know he’s going to a good Duluth program that we have a lot of respect for.”

One of those guys you can afford to be patient with now?
“Yeah, obviously, we have close ties with Duluth and their coaching staff there. We’re confident, they develop players consistently. He’s already got a pretty good offensive skill set, he’s a smart offensive player. He’s going to need time to get stronger and quicker and he can certainly do that there.”

Tempting to trade into the first on Friday?
“We talked about it a little bit, but it’s more than just picks, there’s other things going involved in some of the deals we talked about. But we weren’t desperately just trying to move a player to get a pick. If it happened and it included a pick, that’s fine. But no, it was interesting how the first round went.”

Out of whack?
“No, I think most people had 27 or 28 of the 31 in the first. Some of the orders were a little different, a couple of the Minny kids probably fell a little further than I thought they were gonna go. But they’re all first rounders.”

Bruce Boudreau on new Wild assistant Bob Woods: 'He gets me'

A year after many in the hockey world thought it would happen, Bruce Boudreau and Bob Woods have been reunited.

Woods, Boudreau longtime confidante and friend, will be announced as Scott Stevens’ replacement as a Wild assistant coach this morning. He’ll join John Anderson, another of Boudreau’s best friends, on the bench. Darby Hendrickson remains in his role as assistant coach, too.

Woods, 49, a former defenseman, was Boudreau’s player assistant with the 1998-99 championship Mississippi Sea Wolves team in the ECHL. After Boudreau left for AHL Lowell then Manchester, Woods stayed in Biloxi to coach and be GM before joining Boudreau in Hershey as an assistant.

They won the Calder Cup together their first year in 2005-06, then lost in the finals the next year. Boudreau got “called up” to be the Washington Capitals’ coach in 2007-08 and Woods took over the Bears before winning a title in 2008-09. Woods joined Boudreau in Washington the next 2 ½ years before coming to Anaheim with him for two seasons.

Last season, Woods, after a stint as coach and GM with the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League, was an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres and largely credited for coaching the league’s top-ranked power play.

In his career, Woods has helped develop young defensemen like Cam Fowler, Karl Alzner, John Carlson and Mike Green. He's looking forward to working with the Wild blue line.

“They’re all mobile, they can move the puck, and this day and age, that’s a big key,” Woods said. “There’s a lot of experience there. I think they have the opportunity to do something special, and anything I can do to help, I’m there for them and I can’t wait to get to meet them and start building that relationship.”

Added Boudreau, "He’ll push me and I’ll push him. He knows how to coach and mold young kids, and he knows the game well enough and he’s old enough that I think he’ll be a great communicator with the Suts’ (Ryan Suter) and the older guys that we have on our team.”

Woods will coach the defensemen and penalty kill. He’ll call the blue-line line changes from the bench. Anderson will continue to work with the power play, but as always, Boudreau said it’s a collaborative effort amongst the coaching staff.

“I thought long and hard about it and I think we’ll work really good as a group,” Boudreau said. "He’s very supportive of me and we’ve won everywhere. And he knows me. He knows when I’m going off the edges and stuff like that, he knows when to pull me in. It’s like an old girlfriend that you’ve been around for a long time. They know you after awhile. And he does. He knows me and he gets me.”

Said Woods, “I think we both know each other very well, and I think we complement each other. I think part of my job is filling in the cracks. Bruce doesn’t have many of them. But I try to seal anything that I can. I love working with him, I love his passion for the game. I love his relationships with the players. This is a guy that has success for a reason. The one thing is I know Bruce will do everything in his power to try to bring that cup to Minnesota, and I’m going to be there right beside him.

Boudreau also wanted it known that a report in Canada that Mike Kitchen turned down the Wild’s job is untrue. Boudreau and the longtime coach are friends and Boudreau talked to Kitchen about the job, but Kitchen said he doesn’t want to coach this season and the job was never offered to him.

The second through seventh rounds have begun. Follow me on Twitter at @russostrib for updates.

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