Just before the draft, Thelen was ruled to be a free agent. Former high first round pick (#12 2004 - Wild) who had a very good latter part of the season and play-offs with the Giants and was excellent during the Memorial Cup. He was not signed by the Wild and he argued he was UFA - Bettman has apparently agreed.
Thelen a free agent: Former Wild prospect A.J. Thelen of Savage petitioned the NHL to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and will not re-enter this weekend's draft.
The Wild relinquished their rights to the 2004 first-round pick after deciding not to sign the defenseman by the June 1 deadline. The team received a second-round pick (42nd overall) as compensation.
Thelen was drafted out of Michigan State under pre-lockout rules and finished his amateur career on a Canadian junior team. He sought free agency through the new collective bargaining agreement.
"I know my agent's been talking to some teams so I'm going to wait and see what happens," Thelen said. "I'm pretty confident we'll get something done."