Wild brass likes size, grit in this draft class

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 11:32 PM

– The Wild isn’t the biggest team in the world. Even its top prospects aren’t the biggest players in the world.

But Sunday the Wild did its best to add size and competitiveness to its prospect pool.

“That’s the team we’re trying to get to,” assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said.

Besides drafting four defensemen, all six skaters it selected were 6-1 or taller. It also drafted one goaltender (Alexandre Belanger of the Quebec League).

Defenseman Carson Soucy, taken in the fifth round and heading to Minnesota Duluth, is 6-4. Second-round pick Gustov Olofsson is a big, mobile defenseman. Kurtis Gabriel, a third-rounder, is 6-3 and Flahr says “hits like a train.”

“In the perfect world, if we get size, that’s great. But talent and speed and competitiveness are most important,” GM Chuck Fletcher said. “Look at the playoffs. Boston has a lot of players that are 6 foot or smaller, but they’re competitiveness.

“Sure they have a couple big men in [Zdeno] Chara and [Milan] Lucic. But you go through from [Rich] Peverley to [David] Krejci to [Patrice] Bergeron to [Brad] Marchand to even [Andrew] Ference. These guys aren’t the tallest guys in the league, but they’re competitive. We’d like to get the biggest, strongest, fastest guys we can, but I’d rather get a slightly smaller guy that’s competitive than just a big guy because he’s big.”

Falk dealt to Rangers for Ferriero

The Wild traded defenseman Justin Falk to the New York Rangers for a 2014 sixth-round pick and the rights to pesky right winger Benn Ferriero.

Still, it’s uncertain if Ferriero will end up being signed. The Rangers needed to trade an expiring contract to add Falk, so the Wild did them a favor. Ferriero, 26, has 14 goals and 23 points in 96 games for San Jose and New York.

Falk, a 2007 fourth-round pick by the Wild, had 15 points in 108 games for Minnesota, and this gives him a chance to become an everyday player.

“I’m excited about the new opportunity here,” Falk said. “It’s a new chapter that I’m looking forward to. … I felt I didn’t quite develop the way that I would have liked this last year. I want to continue to build my career, and this is a new start in New York.”

If the Wild buys out Tom Gilbert this week, it will be in the market for a defenseman or two. Fletcher expects he’ll be able to get bargains later this summer.

Fletcher also said he has made progress trying to re-sign Jared Spurgeon, “but we’re not there yet.”

Wait is worth it for Grand Rapids center

Center Avery Peterson was starting to get nervous as he sat for hours in the Prudential Center on Sunday. But finally, with the 167th pick, his home-state Wild drafted the Grand Rapids native in the sixth round.

Peterson, 18, a junior Wild fan who scored twice in the Thunderhawks’ Hockey Day Minnesota overtime victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s, was pumped.

“From the first round on, you just sit there and wait for your name to be called,” said Peterson, who scored 23 goals and 54 points in 23 games. “Finally it did. You get nervous, but you get over that and enjoy the moment.”

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Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland 4 Top 8th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Top 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 13 Bottom 9th Inning
Houston 3
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Arizona 0
Oakland 0 Top 5th Inning
LA Angels 0
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 4th Inning
San Diego 1
Washington 4 Top 4th Inning
Seattle 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Francisco 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 21 3rd Qtr 8:07
Houston 0
Colorado State 14 3rd Qtr 4:20
Colorado 17
UNLV 0 1st Qtr 0:13
Arizona 13
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Houston 3 2nd Half 23:00
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota 39 3rd Qtr 4:00
Phoenix 59
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