NHL.com is jumping the gun just a bit here. They have three of their "experts" doing a mock draft using the way they see the league shaking itself out over the next couple weeks and through the playoffs.
All three gurus have the Wild picking at 11, which of course means, they did not make the playoffs in this scenario.I will let you all head over and check out the article, but I will just look at the two players they chose the Wild to pick in the draft.
Here are the direct links to the "expert" picks:
Adam Kimelman has the Wild taking Freshman Golden Gopher center Jordan Shroeder.
Brad Holland shares Kimelman's thoughts with the Wild taking Schoeder.
Shawn Roarke adds the only change in the field of three, saying the Wild take defenseman Simon Despres from St. John of the QMJHL. He has Schoeder going next pick to Nashville. His justification of the pick of yet another defenseman by the Wild?" A fluid, puck-moving defenseman certainly would change the look of Wild's offense."
I have no argument with Kimelman or Holland. As much as I hate all the calls by homers out there to draft a Minnesota boy, it might shut them up for a couple days should the Wild pick Schoeder. He is also a center (gasp!), which the Wild are in desperate need of. Should they choose Schoeder, they would likely need to wait for him for awhile, as if they pull him from the U of M early, there may be an actual revolt.
Would be nice to see the Wild do something, anything to address the lack of talent at center.
Now, let's look at Roarke. Roarke strikes me as one of those guys that writes for the NHL that also thinks Butch is the Wild's top line center. Brian Compton... I'm looking at you...
The Wild need an offensive defenseman? To join Johnsson, Zidlicky, Bergeron, and to a point Burns? The Wild need to skip over a center with talent and offense upsdie in order to draft yet another defenseman after drafting Cuma, Scandella, and Lorenz in the last draft? Is Lemaire going to be the coach forever? Please explain to me why the Wild should draft another defenseman, let alone another offensive defenseman.
Maybe the thought is that by the time Despres is ready to go, the Wild will be in need of a puck mover. Who knows. Maybe the Wild break the trend and don't rush their first round pick onto the team within two years. Maybe the Wild find a way to sign Jokkinen in the off-season. Maybe the Wild find a center with offensive talent who can come in and score some goals.
And maybe I get a job as the GM of the Wild.
Wake up, Mr. Roarke. Research the team a little, They do not need another defenseman. Regardless of the thought that you take the best player available, and never draft for need, the Wild need to draft for need. There are no forward prospects in the system. Not one. They need to draft forwards, and get as many as they can so that when 90% of them turn into flat out busts, they maybe get one that can actually contribute,
I wish the guys at NHL.com would just stop reporting about the Wild. They obviously no nothing about the team. Just give up already boys.