Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild drafts Gustav Olofsson with first pick

Posted by: Michael Russo under Vikings draft, Wild off-season news Updated: June 30, 2013 - 8:51 PM

The Wild, four hours after the start of the draft, has finally selected a player.

With the 46th pick, the Wild drafted Swedish defenseman Gustav Olofsson, a 6-foot-3 blue-liner who scored 23 points for Green Bay of the USHL last year. He is Colorado College bound, although his WHL rights are owned by Portland.

Olofsson moved to the U.S. in first grade because of his dad's job -- auditor. Now they've stayed because of hockey. He has two younger brothers -- including Fredrik, who is following in his footsteps -- Green Bay, then CC. Has lived a lot of places, but mostly grew up in San Jose, Calif., and Broomfield, Colo. No accent. Loves Jonas Brodin. Very excited to wear a Wild uni. Big Broncos fan.

"My nerves kind of dropped. Unbelievably excited," he said.

Assistanr GM Brent Flahr: "Gustav is a big mobile defenseman that really jumped up our draft rankings. He's an intelligent player with quality natural instincts for the game. We feel like his game will continue to improve as he gets stronger and gains experience."

McKeen's scouting report: Steadily improved throughout his first season in Green Bay, his
efforts recognized with a berth on the USHL All-Rookie Team .. a
native of Boras, Sweden who played youth hockey in Denver since
moving to North America with his family in 2009 .. committed
to attend Colorado College along with younger brother Fredrick,
a `96-born forward also drafted by the Gamblers .. SCOUTING
REPORT .. a poised, big-bodied rearguard .. mobile, all-axis skater
powered by excellent feet and a smooth, sturdy stride .. effortless in
turns and pivots and lateral movements .. plays a responsible and
conservative game - guided by solid awareness and hockey sense ..
astute in his positioning - always alert and surveying the landscape
.. not blessed with flashy skills, yet is an accurate passer and
steady puckmover .. manages the puck well - takes the simple play
- and gradually improved his decision making during the season ..
will benefit from adding power to a decent point shot which he has
demonstrated an ability to make space for - and a knack for getting
through traffic to the net .. not afraid to initiate contact with his
expansive body and wingspan .. his impact as a physical presence
should increase as he builds muscle mass onto his spacious frame
.. a solid prospect with versatility and tools at his disposal - and
plenty of development potential.

The Wild has, so far, a third, fourth, fifth, sixth and two sevenths to go.

The Wild took Kurtis Gabriel, a right wing, from Owen Sound 80th overall. Big, tough, gritty

The Wild took Dylan Labbe, a defenseman from Shawinigan, 107th overall

The Wild took Carson Soucy, a 6-4 defenseman from Irma, Alberta 137th overall. Minnesota-Duluth bound.

In the sixth round, it took Grand Rapids High School star Avery Peterson. He was a Hockey Day Minnesota stud and had 23 goals and 54 points in 23 games last year. He's going to Sioux City (USHL) next year.

Brent Flahr:

Gabriel: big imposing winger that brings a physical element every night. He's a late bloomer that really improved this season.

Labbe: a smart puck moving dman that plays in all situations. Needs to get stronger but we feel he has a quality upside.

Soucy: a 6-4 dman with good mobility and does a good job of moving the puck. Will be attending UMD in the fall.

Peterson - a good sized two way center that skates well and has been a productive player at the high school and USHL levels.

2 sevenths to go


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 104 4th Qtr 0:18
Golden State 105
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 70 2nd Half 4:50
Boise State 65
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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