With needs in every department the Wild drafted what they thought was the best player available to them.
Minnesota in possession of the 3rd overall pick selected Slovakian winger Marian Gaborik. Trades changed the draft picture for Wild, but here are the players chosen:
3. Marian Gaborik, LW from Dukla Trencin (Slovakia)
6-1, 183…born Feb. 14 1982…25 goals in 50 games for Trencin last season.
Comments: Minnesota might have taken Rick Dipietro had he been around. A possible superstar…blessed with dynamic speed and soft hands, much like Slovakian compatriots Miroslav Satan and Zigmund Palffy. Had a “sub-par” WJC, but lead a struggling Slovakia in scoring. He did score 25 goals in a “man’s” league and will be more ready for NHL-play than most 18-year-olds.
33. Nick Schultz, D from Prince Albert (WHL)
6-0, 187…born aAAlbert.
Comments: If Schultz can develop his positional and physical play he will be a great asset to the Wild.
99. Marc Cavosie, LW from RPI (ECAC)
Cavosie, 18 (8/6/81), was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team this year after compiling 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 33 games for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The 6-foot, 173-pound native of Albany, New York, played at RPI with current Minnesota Wild teammate Pete Gardiner.
132. Maxim Souchinsky, RW from Omsk (Russia)
Sushinsky, 25 (7/1/74), played for Avangard Omsk of the Russian League this year. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound native of St. Petersburg, Russia tallied 43 points (19 goals and 24 assists) in 37 games, ranking second in the Russian League in scoring.
170. Eric Reitz, D from Barrie (OHL)
Reitz, 17 (7/29/82), played this season for Barrie of the OHL. The 6-foot, 192-pound native of Detroit, Michigan, scored 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) and was +22 in 62 games for the Colts.
199. Brian Passmore, C from Oshawa (OHL)
Passmore, 20, (4/27/80), was the fourth leading scorer for Oshawa of the OHL. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound native of Mississauga, Ontario totaled 58 points (22 goals, 36 assists) in 58 games for the Generals this year.
214. Peter Bartos, LW from Ceske Budejovice (Slovakia)
Bartos, 26 (9/15/73), played for Ceska Budejovice of the Czech League. The 6-foot, 185-pound native of Martin, Slovakia scored 48 points (23 assists, 25 goals) in 52 games this season.
232. Lubomir Sekeras, D from HC Trinec (Czech Rep.)
Sekeras, 31 (11/18/68), played for HC Ocelari Trinec of the Czech League. The 6-foot, 176-pound native of Trencin, Slovakia scored 31 points (7 goals, 24 assists) in 52 games this year. Sekeras was a member of the 2000 Slovakian World Championship Team.
255. Eric Johansson, C from Tri-City (WHL)
Johansson, 18 (1/7/82), was the second leading scorer for Tri-City of the WHL this season. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta totaled 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 72 games for the Americans.
Souchinsky, Sekeras and Bartos will be able to step in immediately and help the Wild. But they are all well trained and relatively experienced and that will help the Wild. Defensive defenseman Reitz was a solid +22 in the OHL last season.