2011 NHL draft at Xcel Energy Center

  • Updated: June 24, 2011 - 12:54 AM

 

First round: Friday, 6-9 p.m. (VS.); doors open for fans at 4 p.m.

Rounds 2-7: Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., (NHL Network); doors open for fans at 8 a.m.

Tickets: All tickets for Friday's first round have been reserved; tickets for Saturday's session are available. For information, go to www.wild.com.

Wild picks: 10 (first round), 71 (3rd), 101 (4th), 131 (5th), 161 (6th), 191 (7th).

AT NO. 10 ...

A look at a player who might be selected by the Wild with its first-round pick Friday:

MIKA ZIBANEJAD

Vitals: 6-2, 191, C, Stockholm

The son of a Finnish mother and Iranian father, the "Persian Prince" saw his stock begin to rise after scoring nine points in the 2011 world juniors to help Sweden to a bronze medal. He's a northbound power-forward type with soft hands and has some incredible YouTube highlights, one where he schools potential top-five pick Adam Larsson en route to a Swedish Elite League goal.

GREAT DRAFT STORIES

In 2000, the Florida Panthers didn't own a first-round pick, so they wanted to hit a homer with their second.

Selecting 58th overall, they were choosing between a skinny, good-skating, talented defenseman from Minnesota and a big, strong Russian defenseman from a military city in Siberia called Seversk, which until 1993 was known only as Tomsk-7 -- a post-office box number.

Worried Paul Martin could never put meat on that scrawny body, the Panthers, in their infinite wisdom, chose Vladimir Sapozhnikov.

Marty Nanne, now a part-time Wild scout who was working for the Panthers, flipped out.

"Marty was so upset, he called the travel agent right away to get a flight out of Calgary instead of sticking around for the end of the draft the next day," recalled Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, then Florida's assistant GM. "He was out. He was going. He couldn't believe we didn't take Paul Martin, and obviously he was right."

Fan Fest

When: noon-5 p.m. Friday

Where: Crowne Plaza, St. Paul Riverfront

What:

• State of Hockey Exhibit Hall featuring autographs, hockey exhibits and interactive hockey games

• Breakout sessions and autographs with hockey dignitaries covering a wide range of topics.

• The Warming House Theater will show two hockey films: "The Code -- The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL" and "Pond Hockey -- A Documentary Film."

Tickets: $20. Can be purchased at www.wild.com

Note: Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, the NHL Network will be available to any Comcast customer with a digital cable receiver. The NHL Network will be available until Monday at 8 am.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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