In case you haven't been following along, SB Nation's hockey blogs have been conducting a mock draft over at From the Rink. Well, I took some scorn for my selection, but the jerks at On the Forecheck completely ruined Christmas. Bastards.
With the 12th selection, the Minnesota Wild (ok, me) select:
Zach Budish, Edina High School
After missing out on can't miss Minnesota talent like Zach Parise, Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel (yes Cheeseheads, once he went to the U, you lost all rights), Ryan Stoa and Blake Wheeler, the Minnesota Wild cannot allow a draft heavy in first round Gopher talent (Schroeder, Budish, Leddy) pass them by without the new Gopher born and bred coach getting his Gopher power forward.
After missing last season for the Hornets with a torn ACL from his football playing days, Budish has added size and strength during his rehab. Now at 6'3", 229, Budish is the type of power forward the Wild have always lacked.
Before his injury, he played 15 games with Team Southwest in the Minnesota High School Elite League recording 27 points (14-13-27). As a member of the Edina High School hockey team in 2007-08, Budish recorded 63 points (26-37-63) in 30 games. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and to the All-Metro First Team.
Budish will put on the maroon and gold this fall for Don Lucia and the Gophers.
The NHL Draft Combine doesn't always mean much in terms of where a player will go in the draft, but it was absolutely huge this year for Zach Budish, who got the opportunity to prove to every team that his knee was 100% healthy again and that it wouldn't have any long-term effect on his career. That combine performance likely moved him up from the second round, where he had fallen during the season, back into the mid-to-late first round. A huge influence in Minnesota's decision to bring Budish to campus next year rather than playing in the USHL for a year was that he would likely be a first round pick, and probably not play all four years for the Gophers. Given a few years to develop at Minnesota, Budish could turn into a dominating power forward that picks up assists as easily as he does goals. - WCHBlog