Chuck Fletcher says he likely won’t make any trades to grab another pick in the first round, and he probably will hold on to both second round picks tomorrow. Fletcher said they tried to get another first rounder, but weren’t able to. Read into this what you like, but Fletcher’s availability with the media came very shortly after Blaine’s Nick Bjugstad was selected by Florida with the 19th overall pick.
But despite the very light trade activity, both Fletcher and Brent Flahr were extremely pleased about getting Mikael Granlund in the first round.
“We wanted a highly skilled player, and we got one,” said Fletcher, whose full media interview will be shown shortly on Wild TV.
This has been a surprising draft in that there is been very little trade activity, and quite a few surprise picks. Fletcher admitted his staff was a bit caught off guard by how many forwards (seven) were taken before the Wild’s turn at nine. But he said Granlund was the guy they wanted, and only would have been tempted to take a player like Cam Fowler or Brandon Gormley if the Finn had already been drafted.
Three Minnesotans were taken in the first round: Derek Forbort at 15 to LA, Nick Bjugstad at 19 to Florida and Brock Nelson at 30 to the New York Islanders. If I were a betting man, I would say that Tyler Pitlick will be the first player taken tomorrow by the Oilers.
Emerson Etem waited a lot longer than he wanted to get picked, but it was worth the wait for him. The Long Beach native was drafted by the hometown Anaheim Ducks at 29 to the thrill of his massive group of supporters, and all of the people in Staples Center. It was a very cool moment to witness.