Five years ago, Chuck Fletcher and his staff took over a Minnesota Wild system that severely lacked upside. The draft record of the club throughout the mid-2000s was middling despite some later round picks that worked out, mostly due to a series of underwhelming first round selections.
In 2009, the Wild missed the playoffs, the team's cupboards were essentially bare of impact prospects, and Marian Gaborik had just departed for free agency. Today, 2009's draft results are beginning to bear fruit in the somewhat unlikely forms of late-round picks Darcy Kuemper and Erik Haula. 2010's Mikael Granlund and 2011's Jonas Brodin look like the special talents those early first-round picks are assumed to be.… read more