The Wild played what could be considered a solid road period in a 4-2 loss at Toronto, taking a 1-0 lead on Luke Kunin’s goal and getting eight shots on goal to the Leafs’ nine. Then came the second, when Toronto’s star power took over and feasted on Minnesota’s mistakes.
John Tavares, a No. 1 overall draft pick (by the Islanders) who is making $11 million a year, beat goalie Devan Dubnyk through a screen to tie it 1-1. Mitch Marner, a No. 4 overall draft pick making $10.9 million, made it 2-1. After Andreas Johnsson batted in a puck that bounced off the glass and into the crease for a 3-1 Leafs lead, Auston Matthews, a No. 2 overall draft pick making $11.6 million, made it 4-1. Assisting on all four goals was Morgan Rielly, a No. 5 overall pick.
“We don’t have Auston Matthews, who’s going to score 50 or 60 goals,’’ Bruce Boudreau said.
The Leafs have been able to draft early, and their talent shows, while the Wild has picked in the top five only twice in its history.