The NHL entry draft started tonight with Round 1. Minnesota had the 12th overall pick but traded down with the Islanders for the 16th and a 3rd and 7th rounder.
Great move to trade down and get a third as the previous regime had traded away both the second and third round picks in this draft. We'll see tomorrow what they do with those (starting at 9 a.m. on the NHL Network).
With the 16th pick, the Wild picked puck-moving defenseman and Minnesota native Nick Leddy. Apparently head scout Tom Thompson loves the kid. Better be for good cause, because the Wild system needs to be developing scorers like nobody's business. But there's always free agency.
Leddy will be attending the University of Minnesota, so he'll be close at hand for the team as he develops through his college years.
In other news, Russo is reporting that Petr Kalus is returning to play for the Wild next season and will be at development camp in July. Presumably the new system the Wild is promising appeals to his hockey sensibilities better than Lemaire's system, but nothing is changing in Houston, so if he doesn't make the big club, does he bail for Europe again? We'll see!
Back on tomorrow with the remainder of the Wild's picks, who are more likely to spend more time developing in Houston than the first rounder.