Almost 2 full years, and nearly the same pick number, the Wild taps Lakeville Hockey. In the 2015 draft, Minnesota drafted Jack Sadek in the seventh round with pick 204. Sadek went on the University of Minnesota and has a tough go of it with the Gophers.
But that didn’t stop the rest of the NHL tapping Lakeville, MN. Ryan Poehling went off the board in the first round, Jake Oettinger, a goalie for Boston University, went early as well. The Minnesota Wild would follow suit and drafted Nick Swaney at pick 209 in the 7th round in the 2017 NHL draft. Swaney was not teammates with Sadek, Poehling, and Oettinger in that perfect season, but he managed some big numbers as a center for rival Lakeville South.
Swaney is a recruit of University of Minnesota Duluth and will play for Scott Sandelin next season. Instead of jumping right from high school, he’s played two seasons with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL. At 19 years old, Swaney stands at 5’11” and weighs in at 161 pounds.
In 2015-16, Swaney scored 30 goals, and followed up with a 26 goal season last year. He’s got a knack for putting the puck in the net from anywhere on the ice. But he also puts his teammates into scoring areas as noted by his back-to-back seasons with 20 or more assists. He will jump into the offensive rush whenever the chance presents itself and will even try to create offense in short-handed situations.
What’s more, is his handedness. He’s a right shot centerman, and the Wild are scarce in that department. Watch this wicked backhander.
Swaney will be a player to watch as he develops in Duluth, but he shows he’s got a ton of skill, and skill was something Fletcher and company were clearly targeting.