The 2014 NHL Entry Draft is 16 days away and the Wild are looking to find that next NHL star to raise their franchise to the next level. Hockey Wilderness is counting down the days with a daily mock draft. We are at pick number 15 today.
Who is Sonny Milano?
Sonny Milano is a creative offensive force. In the 2013-14 season, he scored 85 points in 58 games as a linemate of Jack Eichel, who is expected to be drafted 2nd overall next year. Milano is a playmaker who is smart at reading the plays. He's fast, and he also has great control of his skating. As far as his defensive play goes, Milano is also an excellent defender because he wants to take the puck from the other team so he can do something awesome with it offensively. Combining speed, smarts and great puck handling make him a great choice for any team.
About him, TSN's Craig Button says good things:
"Milano is an offensive threat with magic hands around the net and the confidence to carry out plays despite opponents bearing down on him. He has the ability to be in the scoring spots at the right times."
Milano will often display the offensive pop Kane showcases daily for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, but don't think for a second he doesn't enjoy getting his hands dirty in the corners to help his teammates. Milano does bring an edge to his game.
Red Wings on the Hunt for the Best
The Red Wings are skilled in picking guys who can play at the NHL level in all rounds of the draft. Datsyuk was taken with the 171st pick in 1998, Zetterberg was drafted in 1999 with the 210th pick, and more recently Gustav Nyquist had a great season after being drafted with the 121st pick in 2008. Detroit's main weakness is lack of prospects with size, but because this is the Red Wings, I'm not really concerned. They don't play a size game; they play a skill game. Their other need is a goaltending prospect other than Petr Mrazek, who will soon be ready to make a jump to the NHL. The Red Wings should wait until a later round to draft a goaltending prospect because there is no need to waste a top pick on a position that is as uncertain as goaltending. The Red Wings have been great for so long by always taking the player who they deem to be the best. I think they will continue that trend this draft by drafting a player with elite talent such as Sonny Milano.
Sonny Milano is committed to Boston College for next season, so it won't bother him to not play in the NHL next year. Since the Red Wings are notorious for how slowly they integrate their prospects into the pro game, Milano will not have any pressure to turn pro too soon.
How Would he Look with the Wild?
It's possible Sonny Milano will still be available when the Wild draft, and he would be a good choice. He is shifty, and I could see him playing very well with Granlund because the two of them would be able to get the puck to each other and dip around defenders. The creative playmaking between those two would be beautiful. Nifty and creative is Milano's game, and it would be exciting to see what he could do on the Wild.