The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #20 Draft Prospect - Zemgus Girgensons
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2012 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Center / Dubuque Fighting Saints
Jan 5 1994
|2011/12 - Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
|2011/12 - Playoffs||2||2||2
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||U20 WJC Top 3 Player on Team|
|2010/11||USHL Clark Cup Champion|
|USHL All-Star Game|
|U20 WJC (D1|A) Gold Medal|
|2009/10||U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team|
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)
It JUST fits!
Summarized Scouting Report
Seen as one of the best two-way forwards available in the draft ... brings a nice display of size, skill, and grit ... strong skater with a smooth and long stride ... possesses great footwork and agility ... protects the puck very well with his body and reach ... tough physical presence in that he cannot be removed from the puck ... has the tenacity, desire and grit ... can absolutely rifle a booming shot to the net ... owns a soft touch which allows him to work magic with the puck ... attacks the net often ... good playmaking abilities ... excellent hockey sense ... strong center in all 3 zones ... tough and competitive ... has an outstanding work ethic, both on and off the ice
May not be a top-two center at the NHL level ... some scouts question his offensive instincts and ability to create scoring opportunities ... still needs to develop his game to be effective at the NHL, but that will take some time
Top nine forward
#23 Zemgus Girgensons 2 goal vs Sioux City (2011-10-28) (via TVhockeyprospect)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
We already have tough, two-way centers who have questionable top six potential.
Here's a player that has seems to have everything but is alot lower in the draft rankings because there are questions about his projected future.
He's smart, plays well in all zones, has a good shot, nifty hands, and plays with grit. In addition, he has good size and skates fairly well.
But in the offensive zone, some question his decision making. He has the right tools to become a threat all over the ice, but as of this moment, he needs to refine his game on the offense if he wants to develop into something more than a gritty third liner.
Sounds somewhat similar to when we drafted Colton Gillies, but a bit more refined and talented.
If I had a pick between 15-20, Girgenson would be a very good pick, but I feel there are just better options with greater offensive upside in the top half of the draft.
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Repor