Wild's GM in a dealing mood for draft day

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 7:30 AM

Chuck Fletcher wants a first-round pick and has salary-cap issues to address, so expect him to be active Sunday.

hide

Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher (left), Wild coach Mike Yeo

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

– In the 21st century, it’s all about technology. But Chuck Fletcher likes to keep things simple.

That’s why the Wild general manager rarely goes anywhere without his trusty black Cambridge notepad.

Inside, Fletcher keeps all his trade secrets — literally.

After every single trade conversation Fletcher has with a fellow GM, Fletcher opens up the notebook and jots down the ideas exchanged.

“This way you don’t forget,” Fletcher said. “There are so many variables and moving parts to every conversation you have, you need to have a quick, easy way to keep track. I have conversations in here that I had four or five years ago that I’ll re-read and think, ‘Geez, I didn’t even remember that.’ ”

As Sunday’s NHL draft arrives at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., it is safe to say Fletcher has been sharpening his pencil a lot lately.

The draft is most significantly about adding an influx of 18-year-old talent to the pool of prospects, but it also triggers the start of offseason transactions in the NHL. Fletcher has a history of trades at or around the draft (from moving up and down in the draft to executing blockbusters like the Brent Burns deal to setting up the Martin Havlat-for-Dany Heatley swap).

These days, Fletcher says he’s making as many calls as he’s receiving.

There is a very likely chance Cal Clutterbuck’s time with the Wild ends Sunday. The Wild has gotten a lot of interest for the 25-year-old restricted free agent. The Wild would prefer to trade him to the Eastern Conference (Toronto, Pittsburgh and Columbus, which has three first-round picks, are teams that have expressed interest).

The Wild has dangled other players as well, from defenseman Tom Gilbert to center Zenon Konopka. It also has received calls about Devin Setoguchi and Kyle Brodziak.

Scouts say this is as deep a draft as there has been in 10 years. Because the Wild traded its first-round pick to Buffalo in the Jason Pominville deal, the Wild doesn’t choose first until the 46th pick.

In a package for Clutterbuck, the Wild would love to land another second-round pick so it can try to package two seconds and move into the first round — likely in the Nos. 15 to 30 range. So it can be ready, the Wild has debated and prepared its draft list as if it still has a first-rounder.

“Often two seconds can get you into the first round, or it can be a second and a player. Sometimes it can be a prospect,” Fletcher said. “We’ll see what happens. If we can’t do it, I’m comfortable because this is a deep draft. We have two thirds. Some years it’s a shallower pool and an extra third may not mean anything, but I think this year it’ll be a little more meaning.”

If the Wild can’t move into the first round, it’ll be the first time in history it doesn’t own a first-round pick. That’s why it’s critical to hit on its later picks.

“We pick 46 this year. We picked 46 last year and got [Raphael] Bussieres,” Fletcher said. “We were really happy with Bussieres, but after him, there was a big drop-off. I think this year there will be more options when we pick at 46, and I think that’ll extend into the third round.”

Other than 2000 second-rounder Nick Schultz, the all-time leader in Wild games played (743), the Wild hasn’t hit on many players after the first round. As of now, Clutterbuck (72nd overall in 2006) is clearly the biggest post-first-round home run.

From 2000-08 — under the Wild’s previous regime — the only post-first-rounders to play more than a handful of games for Minnesota were Stephane Veilleux and Derek Boogaard (2001), Josh Harding (2002), Clayton Stoner (2004) and Justin Falk (2007). The Wild still expects 2008 second-rounder Marco Scandella to make an impact.

Things have looked up with the new regime, but it’s still too early to say concretely.

The promising names still part of the franchise include Darcy Kuemper and Erik Haula (2009), Brett Bulmer, Jason Zucker and Johan Gustafsson (2010) and Mario Lucia, Nick Seeler and Tyler Graovac (2011). The Wild also is high on its 2012 draft class beyond first-round pick Matt Dumba.

“The stats we’ve looked at every year is about 1.9 players per draft per team play 80 or more games in the NHL,” Fletcher said. “Basically if you’re drafting two NHLers, you’re treading water, you’re doing what you have to do.

“Our goal has always been to draft three or more. It’s hard. You can’t do it every year. This year without a first, it’ll be challenging, but we have eight picks, we have an extra third, and the second-round pick this year is probably better than a lot. So that’s still going to be our goal. That’s the goal I’ve asked of [assistant GM Brent Flahr] and our scouts.

“We still have to aim high.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 85 4th Qtr 6:25
Cleveland 94
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 1 1st Prd 13:27
Team Foligno 1
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 41 2nd Half 7:35
Illinois State 46
Louisville 52 2nd Half 9:44
Pittsburgh 39
UMBC 22 2nd Half
Albany 35
Niagara 18 1st Half 7:40
Iona 30
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 52 2nd Half 11:50
Washington St 40
Tulane 41 2nd Half 5:30
South Florida 62
(14) Kentucky 56 2nd Half 12:05
Missouri 50
(9) Oregon State 51 2nd Half 8:10
(13) Arizona State 34
Vermont 31 2nd Half
UMass Lowell 37
Iowa State 29 2nd Half
(8) Texas 36
Southern Ill 29 2nd Half
Wichita State 43
(15) Duke 19 1st Half 9:26
(12) North Carolina 11
Miami-Florida 20 1st Half 7:32
(4) Louisville 14
(21) Minnesota 5 1st Half 12:54
(25) Rutgers 14
California 6:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Does a Stadium Series outdoor Wild game get you excited?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close