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 #29 Draft Prospect - Dalton Thrower
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2011 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Defenseman / Saskatoon Blades
Dec 20 1993
|2011/12 - Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
|2011/12 - Playoffs
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||CHL Top Prospects Game|
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)
Summarized Scouting Report
Thrower is a hard-nosed, hard-hitting blueliner ... is a silky smooth and efficient skater ... willingness to use his body on the ice ... is never afraid to mix it up with opponents ... gritty style of play ... owns a rocket of a slapshot ... delivers crisp and accurate passes ... a smart, hard-working kid ... two-way excellence ... will fight any challenger, also excelling as an agitator ... strong leadership ability ... great intangibles
Pretty average-sized ... some will say that he’s not skilled enough to be a natural point producer ... needs to continue to show that he can make quick decisions and show improved decision making ... his defensive play must improve
Bottom four physical defenseman
Dalton Thrower 2011-2012 WHL Highlights (via bigwhite06)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
While the Wild don't REALLY have a physical presence of the blueline, it really isn't the top of our priorities.
Here is a defenseman that plays hard, plays physical, and plays tons of minutes for his team as a #1-2 defenseman. If you are picking around 25-30, Thrower makes an excellent choice.
While he isn't the most dynamic defenseman, Thrower brings tons of intangibles you would love in any player. He brings character, toughness, and passion to the lockerroom, and can agitate the hell out of the other team. He isn't shabby in the skill department either. He has a cannon of a shot, decent defensively, and is starting to discover his offensive side. He skates well, and while not the biggest, he is strong and can mix it up with bigger and more powerful opponents.
Considering there is a lack of high end talent when nearing the end of the first round, a guy like Thrower who skates well and brings competitiveness, physicality and leadership, will be a very smart pick. He brings all these things that you want, but still has a bit of potential of being more than just a depth defenseman. Playing in Saskatoon will give him every chance of developing that potential as he will be given top minutes playing in every and all situations, including the PP and the PK.
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Repor