Matt Dumba was nearly a point-per-game player for the Portland Winterhawks in 2013-14. (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
Listing the Minnesota Wild‘s Top 20 Prospect Group is a more difficult exercise this fall, with a fairly clear-cut top four (including Erik Haula, who should graduate soon) followed by another 20 or so players with only a little separation. The Wild also added a lot of new blood to bolster the farm system, pushing some familiar names out of the Top 20.
Photo: The Wild selected USNTDP winger and Boston College commit Alex Tuch with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Though there was talk of somehow reacquiring a second round pick, the Minnesota Wild had limited assets to offer as enticement. Chuck Fletcher did pick up an additional seventh round pick in 2015 in exchange for moving down one pick, but in the end the braintrust seemed content to stick with its hand in Philadelphia.
Photo: Despite having a shoulder injury needing repair, the Vancouver Canucks made Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen their top pick at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI)
The Vancouver Canucks figure to have a new look in the coming years with new general manager Jim Benning and a new head coach in Willie Desjardins. The makeover in Vancouver started on Friday afternoon even before the 2014 NHL Draft began when the Canucks engineered a series of trades — one of which sent veteran Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks in a multi-player deal.
Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad (left) and forwards Sam Reinhart (center) and Sam Bennett (right) will learn where they begin their professional careers at the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images and Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Now that the Los Angeles Kings have hoisted their second Stanley Cup in three years, the hockey world can now focus on the 2014 NHL Draft that will take place on June 27th and 28th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo: Kurtis Gabriel, Minnesota’s 81st overall pick in 2013, scored four points in his eight-game pro debut following a productive over-age season with Owen Sound (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Five years ago, Chuck Fletcher and his staff took over a Minnesota Wild system that severely lacked upside. The draft record of the club throughout the mid-2000s was middling despite some later round picks that worked out, mostly due to a series of underwhelming first round selections.