Rand: Comparing 10 years of Wild, Wolves drafts

  • Updated: June 23, 2013 - 10:31 PM

The Wolves have botched a lot of draft picks, but choosing Ricky Rubio in 2009 was a great move.

Photo: RICH TSONG-TAATARII, Star Tribune file

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We are less than a week away from both the NBA and NHL drafts, meaning the time is ripe for a look back over the past 10 years at how the Timberwolves and Wild have fared. We’ll focus on the first round in each case, since that’s where comparisons are most apt:

 

Year Wolves Wild

2003 Ndudi Ebi (26) Brent Burns (20)

Ebi, taken out of high school, lives in local draft infamy while Burns was a solid contributor before being traded in 2011. Winner: Wild.

 

2004 No pick A.J. Thelen

The Wolves were being punished for the secret Joe Smith deal; Thelen, a defenseman, struggled at lower levels and never played for the Wild. Winner: None.

 

2005 Rashad McCants (14) Benoit Pouliot (4)

McCants fizzled quickly, but he did average 14.9 ppg and shot 40.7 percent from three-point range in 2007-08. Pouliot struggled with the Wild but has had productive seasons elsewhere. Winner: Tie.

 

2006 Randy Foye (7) James Sheppard (9)

The Wolves drafted sixth and swapped Brandon Roy for Foye, the No. 7 pick. Roy had the better career, but Foye was at least productive here. Sheppard scored just 11 goals in most of three seasons with the Wild. Winner: Wolves.

 

2007 Corey Brewer (7) Colton Gillies (16)

Brewer was decent with the Wolves and has carved out a nice niche in Denver. Gillies has six career NHL goals. Winner: Wolves.

 

2008 Kevin Love (5) Tyler Cuma (23)

The Wolves picked third but swapped O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love, who developed into an All-Star. Cuma has yet to break through but is still only 23. Winner: Wolves.

 

2009 Ricky Rubio (5) and others Nick Leddy (16)

The Wolves made a mess of much of the rest of the first round, but Rubio is a pass-first point guard and fan favorite. Leddy is battling for a Stanley Cup after being dealt to Chicago in the ill-fated Cam Barker deal. Winner: Wolves.

 

2010 Wes Johnson (4) Mikael Granlund (9)

Johnson did not work out here and is now in Phoenix. Granlund debuted for the Wild as a 20-year-old last season and, while he struggled, still has great potential. Winner: Wild.

 

2011 Derrick Williams (2) Jonas Brodin (10)

Williams has been up-and-down but showed improvement a year ago. Brodin, however, sparkled as a 19-year-old rookie last season. Winner: Wild.

 

2012 No pick Matt Dumba (7)

The Wolves traded their pick for Chase Budinger, who was injured for much of 2012-13 and who could leave via free agency. Dumba is still just 18 and remains a top prospect. Winner: Wild.

MICHAEL RAND

 

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