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  • Minnesota Wild Draft Picks: Day Two

    Ben Remington

    After what was undoubtedly a confusing, to put it mildly, first round on Friday night, Wild fans have seven new players to scrutinize from the second day of the NHL Entry Draft (rounds 2-7).


    Luckily for them, day two seemed to go much better for the Wild than day one, even after not having a second-round pick as a reminder of the Martin Hanzal trade.


    Let's meet the new members of the Wild:


    Round 3, Pick 63: Jack McBain, C, Toronto Jr. Canadians


    6-foot-3 - 195 pounds - 58 Games - 21 Goals - 37 Assists - 68 Points




    You just can't forget the name McBain.


    McBain is a big cat, and plays with a ton of skill. He entered the draft looking like a second-round pick, and the Wild were able to scoop him up with the first pick in the third round, acquired from Buffalo in the PominTrade. He likely fell because of the central knock against him; he's not a tremendous skater.


    The Wild are probably hoping that he can improve his skating as he heads to play at Boston College next season, but even if he's never an elite skater, his size and tenacity should help him when playing in a phone booth along the boards or in front of the net. About halfway through the NHL Network Coverage of the draft, Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet named McBain when the panel was talking about late-round players who could end up as superstars.


    My take: It appears to be a pretty decent value pick, and maybe McBain doesn't have incredible upside due to his skating, but there have been equally flawed players that have been 30-40 goal scoring centers. Also, did you know that the early McBain movie clips from the Simpsons can actually be combined into one coherent storyline?



    Round 3, Pick 86: Alex Khovanov, C, Moncton Wildcats


    5-foot-11 - 195 pounds - 29 Games - 9 Goals - 19 Assists - 28 Points




    Another value pick, Khovanov had a rough year, contracting Hepatitis A while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, and missed half of the QJMHL season because of it. When he was able to play again, he showed some of the elite playmaking ability that made him an exciting prospect going into his draft year.


    Corey Pronman wrote about his ups and downs earlier this year for The Athletic, and it gives you some insight on a kid who definitely fell in the draft through no fault of his own. His conditioning was an obvious knock on him after such a long layoff, and defense has never been his forte, but 'elite offensive IQ' was a phrase Pronman wrote, so it's hard not to be a little optimistic.


    My take: I love this pick, just like the Hail Mary drafting of both Kirill Kaprizov (fifth round, 2015) and Dmitiri Sokolov (seventh round, 2016), the practice of taking a risk on a talent Russian falling the draft for various reasons seems to be a worthwhile one. Khovanov is already stateside playing with Moncton, so there's no concerns about him coming to North America, and it'll be very, very interesting to see what he does with a full season in 'The Q' with his illness now almost a year behind him.


    Round 3, Pick 90: Connor Dewar, C, Everett Silvertips


    5-foot-10 - 170 pounds - 68 Games - 30 Goals - 38 Assists - 68 Points



    The Wild continued to stock up on centers in the third round, even though Dewar is listed on most sites as a left wing. Dewar wasn't a value pick, but was hardly a reach here, especially considering his production in a legit league like the WHL. If you watch his highlight reel, he looks like a dynamic scorer, but then again, who doesn't in their highlight reel. He's not very big, but it looks like he's a fairly quick skater at least.


    Here's a nifty little play his team featured on Twitter.



    My take: This is a good pick in that production like this doesn't grow on trees, even at the Junior level of hockey. I hope Dewar is successful not only just because the Wild need premium scorers like the desert needs the rain, but also because this pick was acquired from Vegas in last year's expansion draft, essentially in return for Erik Haula...


    Round 5, Pick 148: Simon Johansson, D, Djurgarden Jr


    6-foot-2 - 183 pounds - 43 Games - 16 Goals - 20 Assists - 36 Points



    One day after infuriating most of the fan base by picking a right-handed, Swedish defender named Johansson, the Wild double downed on the concept and grab another right-handed, Swedish defender named Johansson. However, this kid is much different from his countryman Filip, boasting more offensive upside and a cannon shot, as apparent in the clip above and the gif below.




    While it's certainly laugh-worthy that the Wild just happened to take two Swedish Johansson defensemen with right-handed shots, it's worth noting because right-handed shot defensemen are tough to come by, as we learned from the Taylor Hall-Adam Larsson trade. If the Wild were focusing on stocking up positions, taking a bunch of centers and right-shot defensemen are probably the best ones to stock up on.


    My take: While this kid won't garner nearly the reaction the other Johansson will, he actually played eight games in the SHL, the highest league in Sweden, and it'll be interesting to see if the offensive skill he showed in Juniors shines through in a Men's league. Also interesting: there is another Simon Johansson, who starred on Swedish Idol. 



    Round 5, Pick 155: Damien Giroux, C, Saginaw Spirit


    5-foot-9 - 170 pounds - 68 Games - 19 Goals - 24 Assists - 43 Points



    This pick, acquired from the Capitals for Tyler Graovac, was used on a small forward from the OHL with just decent production. From the few clips I was able to dig up -- like this

    in which Giroux scored the tying goal -- Giroux looks like your typical little offensive engine that could, akin to an Alex Debrincat of the Blackhawks, albeit with lighter production.


    Something Giroux does seem to have going for him as well is character, as he's captained and alternate captained a handful of teams he's been on, and you can see him

    as his team walks down the tunnel and an
    on an empty-net goal here.


    My take: Giroux may never be more than just 'a guy' taken at this point, but the thing I liked about him the most was how apparent it was that he's a great teammate. If he ever makes the NHL, let's be honest, it's going to be in a bottom-six type role, so that team-first attitude he shows will really come in handy, in addition to that little offensive spark.


    Also of note: The Wild had acquired two picks for players leading into this draft -- the Buffalo third was swapped for their fourth rounder this year, which ended up being Linus Lindstrand-Kronholm -- and who did they belong to?


    Vegas and Washington. Go figure.


    Round 6, Pick 179: Shawn Boudrias, RW, Gatineau Olympiques


    6-foot-4 - 196 pounds - 60 Games - 28 Goals - 32 Assists - 60 Points



    Boudrias is technically an "overager" which means he was eligible to be drafted last year, but was passed on. Being an overager isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it's noted here by Scott Wheeler of The Athletic that Boudrias is only an overager by a few days, just making the cutoff for last year's draft, and there are still plenty of reasons to like him.


    First of all, he's huge, but he's not a knuckle-dragging enforcer with his size, as he's been pretty productive, boasting a point per game last season. Also, it seems like there's some playmaking upside with him as well. Check out this



    My take: Swinging for some upside this late in the draft is obviously a good thing to do, and somewhat a common practice by the Wild. With this kid's size, if he can continue to develop his offensive skills, he could be a nice contributor down the line.


    Round 7, Pick 210: Sam Hentges, C, Des Moines Buccaneers


    6-feet - 170 pounds - 23 Games - 8 Goals - 10 Assists - 18 Points



    It just wouldn't be an NHL Draft without the Wild taking a Minnesotan, right? The Wild have taken a Minnesota High School hockey product in five of the last eight seasons. This St. Cloud State commit, oddly by the same name as the Shoreview native pitcher in the Cleveland Indians farm system, dominated at Totino-Grace with 50 points in 23 games before heading to Tri-City and then Des Moines of the USHL to prep for college hockey.


    He certainly has enough skill -- 

    -- notching an assist against Russia in World Junior competition.


    My take: ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!



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