VANCOUVER – Disappointed and surprised.
That’s how Minnetonka’s Bobby Brink felt after not getting drafted Friday despite being projected as a first-round pick.
But once he was scooped up by the Flyers on Saturday early in the second round inside Rogers Arena — after Philadelphia traded up to acquire the No. 34 selection from the Nashville Predators — a different emotion took over: happiness.
“It shows me I was high on their list and that they were willing to trade more to get me was cool,” Brink said.
Brink was among a group of prized prospects taken Saturday after a handful of surprises pushed some likely first-rounders to the second, a nod to an even talent pool after the top-10 but also the unpredictability of this draft.
After being named the United States Hockey League’s forward of the year following his 35-goal, 68-point performance in 43 games with Sioux City, Brink was expected to be included in the top-31. And while he’s eager to be joining the Flyers, the 17-year-old isn’t going to forget having to wait as long as he did.
“Obviously, there’s extra motivation getting passed on like that,” Brink said. “I can use it as motivation to keep improving. Just have to keep getting better if I want to make it to the next level.”
The Wild started Saturday with seven picks and it ended up making seven selections, just not in the order originally outlined.
After taking winger Vladislav Firstov at No. 42, the Wild traded its third and fourth-round picks to secure another second-rounder — which it used to take goaltender Hunter Jones, its first of two goalie pickups of the day. In the seventh round, the team took Filip Lindberg at No. 197. This was just the third time in franchise history the Wild has drafted two goalies in the same class.
“It just shows how interested they were in me leading into the draft,” Jones said.
Later, the team reacquired a third-rounder from the Nashville Predators in exchange a 2020 third-round pick and added Adam Beckman at No. 75. Beckman was a center his entire career before last season, when he played left wing with Spokane in the Western Hockey League, and that’s the position the Wild envisions him maintaining.
This past season was also Beckman’s first in the WHL after he played midget in his native Saskatchewan in 2017-18.
“I got a chance to step in and be an impact player rather than maybe playing the fourth line as a 16-year-old,” Beckman said. “It’s tough because some guys really lose their drive and love for the game when they’re playing fourth line and not playing much and I never lost that. That decision worked out.”
Winger Matt Boldy, whom the Wild nabbed with its first-round pick 12th overall Friday, ended up being the first of two players from the U.S. National Team Development Program’s under-18 squad the Wild drafted. Defenseman Marshall Warren, Boldy’s teammate, joined the pipeline in the sixth round at No. 166.
“Matt’s one of my best friends,” said Warren, who’s also committed to Boston College like Boldy. “… He’s such a good guy, good kid. It’s good to have someone like that around.”
Before he started playing hockey, Warren was a figure skater and models his game after Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.
“I’m a two-way defender,” Warren said. “Skating is my biggest asset. I love to be up and down the ice, and I think I’ll bring a lot to the organization. I can’t wait to play.”
The additions of Firstov and center Matvey Guskov (149) signaled the fifth consecutive draft the Wild has selected a Russian after not drafting one in the 10 previous drafts.
Owner Craig Leipold was on the draft floor with the team, sitting at its table during the first round Friday night — this after he took in the organization’s preparations earlier in the day.
“I think he enjoyed it,” General Manager Paul Fenton said.
Bell Centre in Montreal will host next year’s draft.