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  • Should We Second-Guess Minnesota's Use of Second-Round Picks?


    But the deferred cost in draft picks hasn't quite sold everyone on that move. Many, including yours truly, still believe that the second spent to give up Stewart was better served staying with the Wild, who by Fletcher's admission, could really use those high draft picks.

    So, spurred by Fletcher trading a second-round pick for Chris Stewart last week, we're going to look at how Fletcher has used his second-round assets throughout his tenure with the Wild. Has he used them wisely? Has he always been quick to give up that valuable second-round selection? Let's find out.

    We won't count 2009, because A#1) Fletcher had nothing to do with the trade that sent their second that season to Nashville in exchange for Marek Zidlicky, and B#2) Brent Flahr wasn't yet in the Wild organization, and the draft was run by Tommy Thompson, who ran the draft table during the Doug Risebrough era.

    2010, 39th Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? It was Minnesota's natural 2nd-round pick.

    But if things continue they way they have, then no, this didn't help the Wild.

    2010, 56th Overall

    How Could the Wild Have Used It? See this entry in the next section.

    2010, 59th Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? They traded a third and fourth-selection to move up to this pick.

    How Did the Wild Use It? They drafted a speedy winger who committed to Denver University, Jason Zucker. Zucker showed a nose for the net as captain the US U-18 team, but he was drafted as a two-way prospect. Everyone was pretty much wrong, as Zucker developed into a scoring dynamo in Denver.

    Did This Asset Help the Wild? It was looking like it might not have, with the Wild seeming to contemplate trading Zucker, but they didn't, and Zucker was arguably the best scorer on the Wild this season. Good pick.

    2011, 40th Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? It was their natural second-round pick.

    How Did the Wild Use It? They traded it to Boston in the Chuck Kobasew Trade?

    Did This Asset Help the Wild? Kobasew scored an unremarkable 30 points in an unremarkable 105 games playing for an unremarkable Wild team. Gross.

    2011, 60th Overall

    How Could the Wild Have Used It? Vincent Trocheck is looking like a good player for Florida. It'd be cool to dream on Johnny "Hockey" Gaudreau, who was selected 104th overall, but that's not quite realistic.

    Did This Asset Help the Wild? If the Wild can sign him, he'll be a worthwhile pick. Lucia needs to round out his game, but his scoring touch is undeniable at this point, and the Wild always seem like they could use another big frame with speed in the lineup.

    2012, 37th Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? It was their natural second-round pick.

    2012, 46th Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? The Wild acquired this pick in the Marek Zidlicky trade, which was also notable for the return of Stephane "STEVE!" Veilleux.

    Did This Asset Help the Wild? Also like Bulmer, Bussieres has yet to deliver on the promise he had at the time of his drafting. He struggled hard playing for a poor Iowa Wild team, but has since rebounded and is producing, scoring 16 points in 19 games... in the ECHL. It's too soon to write off Bussieres, but it's tempting.

    2013, 46th Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? It was their natural second-round pick.

    How Could the Wild Have Used It? Madison Bowey is a flashier defenseman who's a point-per-game guy in the WHL. Eric Comrie would look nice in the Wild's system, but so would any decent young goalie. It's way too early to say that either of them would be better than Olofsson, though.

    2014, 39th and 50th Overall

    How Did the Wild Use It? They traded the 39th pick to Buffalo in the Matt Moulson trade, and the 50th in the Jason Pominville trade.

    2016, ??? Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? Natural Second-Rounder.

    How Did the Wild Use It? The Matt Moulson Trade.

    Did This Asset Help the Wild? Again, it may have been a worthwhile risk, but it's very debatable as to whether it was a success, and it could hurt the Wild 5 years down the road.

    2017, ??? Overall

    How Did the Wild Get It? Natural Second-Rounder.

    How Did the Wild Use It? Trading it for Chris Stewart last Monday.

    Did This Asset Help the Wild? Stewart has two points in four games, but it's hard to say that the Wild made the best use of this asset. Stewart brings sandpaper and some scoring depth to the Wild, he was playing below-average hockey, even compared to his teammates in Buffalo. Maybe he's going to play inspired down the stretch with a playoff team in a contract year, but even then, you have to question the wisdom of making this move due to the Wild's depth at wing, as well as the fact that he'll be a Free Agent after this season. 6 weeks (plus playoffs) of a guy who's maybe an upgrade in this lineup is really worth a second-rounder?


    It was only very recently that Fletcher had become so cavalier with his second-round draft picks (with the exception of the regrettable Kobasew trade), but he's gone all-in on this current team, using those second-rounders as currency. From 2014-17, he's traded 4 of a possible 5 selections in order to make upgrades to this team, both real (Pominville, probably Moulson) and perceived (Stewart).

    One could write off these selections being traded away. "The draft is a crapshoot, it's only the second-round" is something that's easy to say. And there's truth to that. But what's frustrating about these second-round picks being traded is that in general, Fletcher and Flahr have done a great job with those selections. Zucker and Larsson look like really solid NHL players. Lucia and Olofsson seem like good prospects for the Wild. Even Bulmer and Bussieres could have been good if they weren't on dumpster fire teams- we'll never know.

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