The Pick is in and we draw one spot closer to the Canes at #8. But first, with the 6th Pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Canes Country has selected Mathew Dumba for the Anaheim Ducks. Maybe with this tough little character, they decide to put "Mighty" back in their name? Seriously, this seems like a very solid pick for the Ducks. Dumba is one of the most physical defensemen in this draft, despite his size. He hits like a ton of rocks, but skates like he is on a cloud. He has plenty of offense, all he has to do is refine his game a little. If Dumba learns how to play a little smarter, he could easily become the best defenseman from this draft. Anaheim needed some more defenseman and they picked up what could be a prize. So Yakupov, Forsberg, Galchenyuk, Murray, Grigorenko, and now Dumba are off the board. Who is the next to hear his named called?
Up next are the Minnesota Wild with the #7 Pick, so Minnesota is now on the clock!
When I look at Minnesota, I see a team with a couple of good pieces, but one that still needs to add a little of everything. They were pretty good defensively, but their defense is one of committee (including the forwards). And this has a direct effect on their offense, which was the worst in the league (GPG). But some of that has to do with the number of injuries then endured this past season. They are expected to go hard after Minnesota's own, Zach Parise this summer, but they have additional holes to fill. They have a couple of prospects that could eventually help out the forward ranks, but defense seems to be the area they will address. Since trading Brent Burns last offseason, they have pretty much have seen no offense at all from the blueline. Defense definitely is a priority, but grabbing a talented Finn may not be out of the question either. We'll see what happens, but the Wild almost can't go wrong with their pick unless they go completely off the board. So you're Minnesota's GM, what do you do with the #7 Pick?
*If you choose the "Trade Down" option, please let me know what player you expect to be drafted in the 7th position.*
Jacob Trouba - D
Minnesota loves their own and with this kid, they get one of the steadiest defensemen in the draft. Trouba is a guy that has some size, can skate very well, has a little bit of offense, and plays tough. He can really just do it all. His "bread & butter" so to speak is his physical, yet responsible play. He can really lay someone out, but doesn't get himself out of position to do so. It is said that he has a booming shot, but some scouts believe his offense may be limited in the NHL. I think he will be a solid two-way defenseman, but it is going to be a couple of years before he is NHL ready. He has a solid frame to build on and will get stronger as he ages. He is one piece of the puzzle for the Wild.
Morgan Rielly - D
If the Wild are looking for some offense from the backend, Rielly has to be considered a top candidate for the 7th Pick. This guy is money and will put up a ton of points. He is a fantastic skater, has a high hockey IQ, and is tremendous with the puck. The Wild had a bottom half PP last season, Rielly would definitely be able to help increase those percentages. The concern with Rielly is the torn ACL he had this year and how much it will effect one of his strengths, skating. He seems ok at this point, but it is a question. I would suspect that he will be back in the WHL next season, working on rounding out his game. But this guy could be very tempting for the Wild.
Griffin Reinhart - D
Reinhart is a big wild card in this draft. He has great size, skating ability, offense, and is very good positionally. He can adjust his game to pretty much whatever style is needed. A couple of scouts have even said that he might be the best player in this draft, but he has a little more seasoning to do. While he is a physical specimen, he has learned how to use his body to his full advantage. Once he learns how to throw that massive frame around, watch out, this kid could be special. Also don't forget that the kid comes from a hockey family, so the NHL is in his blood.
Teuvo Teravainen - LW
Here comes Teravainen creeping around again. The fastest riser in the draft is bound to get some close looks at #6, #7, & #8. Those 3 teams already have a couple of Finnish players on their roster and this kid has a boatload of skill. Teravainen has top-notch puck skills, can skate very well, and is one dynamite playmaker. His defensive game is a little bit of a concern, but his size is probably the biggest question out there about him. But he is one of the youngest players in the draft and he has already proved himself against men in Finland. Put him in the weight room and give him some time to grow more and this guy could be a steal. Add all of this to the Wild having what looks like their top 2 centers being from Finland and this could be a match made in heaven.
Radek Faksa - C
This might be a stretch for the Wild, but you can never be too strong down the middle. Minnesota looks to be pretty set at the center position, but last year's injuries really took their toll, so maybe they are looking for a backup plan. Faksa is likely the best two-way center in this draft. He can score, distribute, and play defense. He also has the size necessary to compete in today's more physical NHL. He was only a rookie in the OHL last season, so he likely won't be ready for NHL action immediately, but he would be a solid choice and give the Wild come options in the near future.
Like I said above, when I look at the Wild, I see a number of holes in their lineup. If they could get two 1st round picks for their #7, I would tell them to do it. Maybe Tampa Bay, Washington, or Buffalo falls in love with a particular player and wants to move up before someone else snatches him. If I were the Wild, I would listen to offers. Their primary need is on defense and this draft is deep on defensemen. If they could trade with Buffalo for the 12th & 21st pick, they could still pick up a quality defensive prospect at #12 and go best available at #21.