Not really this year, but a few kids who left early probably will. Jack Glover originally of BSM, now playing for the USNTDP and Jack Dougherty who played for St. Thomas last year and is now with the USNTDP will probably go in the first two rounds.
Jack Ramsey (Minnetonka) now with Penticton in the BCHL, Austin Poganski (St. Cloud Cathedral) now Tri-City in the USHL, Ryan Collins (BSM) now with the USNTDP, and Shane Gersich (Holy Family) now with the USNTDP are in the next group. I'd expect them somewhere in rounds 2-4.
I'd really like to see us taking Leon Draisaitl. He reminds me of Mikael Granlund in Nino's body. I really think he's going to be good, due to his big body, high hockey IQ and excellent passing ability.
Your guy is now rated as 1st overall in mid- rankings by THN.
funny they have an article on this, because I was going to comment on Nikko and that I liked his game at the WJC, and that the wild should look at him. I was wondering if any of the finns have any comments regarding nikko, since most of us have only seen these players during the tournament.
"The two most prominent of those forwards are Lukko's Joni Nikko and Juuso Ikonen, who was obtained by JyP just prior to the WJC after starting the Liiga season with Espoo Blues.
Nikko, who missed a good portion of the 2012-13 season, has prototypical size for an NHL forward and used that size to his advantage in all three zones. Off to a fast start with Lukko in his first Liiga season with 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in 27 games, he scored three goals in Malmo, including one against Canada in the semifinals."
I got to catch the Warroad/East Grand Forks game last night and I really enjoyed it. The Warroad arena was nice but not overpowering. It felt like a high school barn and had a lot of history in it. Trophies everywhere. Banners everywhere. A fan section that was packed on both sides. It's probably not the best arena I've been in - design wise - but it was still a fun little place. And the pizza was good.
Anyway, I went to catch three Warroad players that are absolutely tearing up the state in points. Jared Bethune (Junior, 5'11 - 79 points in 22 games), Kobe Roth (Junior, 5'4" - 78 points in 22 games), and Kyle Sylvester (Senior, 5'11" - 75 points in 22 games). Bethune and Roth are both committed to Minnesota-Duluth after their senior seasons next year, but I don't know where Sylvester is going. He'll play somewhere, though. That's for sure.
To summarize the game itself, East Grand Forks won 5-1. From the score, one would imagine that EGF dominated in all fashions of the game. They had 38 shots compared to Warroad's 18, but it was actually quite close. EGF was built from the goal out. They have a good goalie, good defense, and decent forwards. They were good all around. Warroad was reliant on their top line to the point that the rest of their team couldn't properly cycle or keep sustained pressure in the offensive zone without at least one of the big three on the ice.
EGF opened up scoring about halfway through the first, but shortly afterward Warroad seemed to have scored a goal from a beautiful no-look cross-ice pass from Kobe Roth to Kyle Sylvester. Refs ruled against it and the period ended 1-0 EGF.
Midway through the second period, Bethune got tangled up with an EGF player in the defensive zone and walked away with a two minute interference(If I recall correctly) + a 10 minute misconduct for arguing with the call. Warroad fell apart. EGF scored twice while Bethune was in the box, even though they were technically only shorthanded for two minutes they were severely depleted in all aspects of the game without Jared Bethune.
Warroad's only goal came when they were already down 4-0 when Bethune was behind the net and threw a pass to a wide open Sylvester, who laid down some great moves and shot a rocket.
Jared Bethune is a player. He was clearly the best player on the ice - from both teams. He's only 5'11"according to MN Hockey Hub, but the guy plays much bigger than that. He's physical, he drives to the corners and in front of the crease. He won almost every faceoff he was involved in. He has good vision, great moves, and can handle the puck in traffic quite well. He controlled play, and when he was on the ice all of the offense was run through him.
Kobe Roth was a floater and not a very good one. He was constantly floating up by his blue line, even when the play was deep in the other corner. He mishandled pucks, fumbled passes, and even though he played on the PK a decent amount I never saw him make a good defensive play. He can pass well enough - he had a great pass on the no-goal I mentioned earlier - and his shot was decent, but I was not impressed by him. He was clearly the weakest of these three players.
Kyle Sylvester - the Senior of the big three - was a Captain and was solid at all aspects of the game. He had a good shot, made good passes, and hit well. He dropped to the ice several times to block shots and was reliable defensively. He was clearly better than Roth and was not far behind Bethune.
I don't know if any of these three are going to be drafted. But I would bet big money that if any were to be, it would be Bethune. And with the way he controlled and dominated play several times in the game, I would not be mad at all if the Wild dropped a seventh, sixth, or even fifth rounder on him. He's a gamer and I could definitely see him have a career past college if he continues to progress and develop.
Never heard of that before, but it sure would help some of us "middle of the road" teams.
We all know that some of the Wild's problems over the years, wad playing better than it actually was, and not getting top draft picks.
(oh yeah, and DR drafting like a total ****wad)
Just imagine how pissed you'd be if, for whatever reason, you were really bad in a Crosby/McDavid/Tavares/Stamkos year, and it wasn't your turn at the top of the draft due to some stupid formulaic rotation. I'd be pissed.