I am already sure you know the names of players Nail Yakupov or Ryan Murray, much like you knew the names of Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, several months they were to be drafted.
And unless you're thinking the Wild will end near last place in the standings, I just don't see the point of just repeating exactly the same things everyone has been talking about. Yes, Yakupov is a front-runner for #1, so on and so forth.
But theorotically, lets just say that Minnesota will end around middle of the pack. I don't think thats too much of a reach. We do have two good offensive lines, a solid goaltending tandem and a breath of fresh air in the coaching staff.
So with the 15th overall pick in the NHL 2012 Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild are pleased and proud to select...who?
I have my own comprehensive rankings that I compiled from my favorite scouting services, weighted appropriately, and at #14 is Martin Frk from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.
Lets take a look shall we?
#91 / Right Wing / Halifax Mooseheads
Oct 5, 1993
|2011 - Halifax Mooseheads
Injured for the beginning of the season, Frk has not had the chance to show off his skills for his draft year but make no mistake, he's talented.
Frk, a Czech Republic native, was selected 3rd overall in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, in which he did not disappoint, posting an impressive 22 goals and 28 assists in 62 games (second in points on the team). He's a bulky 6-0 198lbs who looks to come in this season playing alongside largely hyped Nathan MacKinnon (some calling Nathan the next Crosby).
Frk, at only 6-0 but an impressive 198lbs, you know he has some bulk to make him hard to bully physically. Kirk Luedeke, now a part of the Redline Report (congrats!), mentioned on his blog BruinsDraftWatch:
He's got powerful legs and enough upper body oomph to handle himself in the physical aspects of play along the walls...He's also a chippy guy with some nastiness to his game. His skating isn't first-rate, but according to scouts, has improved since last season. He's not a bad skater, but could stand to pick up an extra step.
Many concerns about European prospects is whether they can handle the North American game physically but Frk is natural built for that kind of punishment. In addition, he has the mental toughness, even nastiness, to compete against some of the meaner players in North America. While not the best skater in the draft, there isn't much to be concerned with, he just isn't your Gaborik.
In addition to his physical package, he brings in a dangerous wealth of offensive abilities. Our friends at TheScoutingReport also had something nice to say:
Like most players out of Europe he has great skill but Frk brings so much more. He’s a power forward that loves to hit and has a lethal shot. If he can continue to improve his two way game and drive to the net more often he should cement his status as a first-round pick and the type of versatile two-way player that would be a tremendous asset to any NHL roster.
So what now? He has the body, now he has the shot? And you said something else Kirk?
He's got terrific offensive hockey instincts and sees the ice very well. He also seems to have that natural killer instinct that NHL teams covet; he protects the puck well in the offensive zone and drives hard to the net or can make some quick moves to shake defenders and create a little space for himself. Frk also has excellent hands and quickness with the stick-- he's able to handle it in tight and get excellent shots off
Judging prospects are more about identifying the pieces to work with rather than just simply selecting an NHL player. You aren't drafting an immediate NHL player, you're drafting a project; a puzzle. Whether they develop into a player is all on the player's determination to work and to progress, and luck. You win some, you lose some. Fans that scream "Oh you should have drafted this or that" have no idea what they are talking about. Alot of it is luck.
So regarding Frk, he seems to have some pieces that NHL teams droll over: size, physical play, skill. Pieces of a puzzle. So why isn't he a consensus top five pick?
My colleague Jason MacIsaac, at Future Considerations (I can't believe I can finally say that! #endselfpraise) had this to say:
However, there are a few red flags that may have Frk dropping this season. He didn’t always show 100 per cent effort on the ice and his skating is fringe both in acceleration and top end speed. Frk will be playing with phenom Nathan McKinnon, which will definitely make Frk more of an attraction. Some may question, though, who is the straw that stirs the drink between the duo.
Frk is an enigma. His consistency is poor, he shows up some nights and others he doesn’t.
So like many offensively gifted prospects, there are questions how he plays without the puck. That includes play in his own zone and drive to play consistently. Now, Frk has been injured with the gravely ominous description "upper body injury". Many have it as a concussion, to which we all know with the Pierre-Marc Bouchard fiasco, there is never a timetable.
In the eyes of NHL teams that want a project with a good chance of becoming an NHL player, a concussion with no signs of how it will effect the player, looks worrisome. In additon, a player that needs to prove he has the consistency, playing time is essential.
But its only been a month of games. There is still eight months of hockey. Things can change