With the 12th overall selection in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild have selected left wing Matthew Boldy from the United States National Team Development Program.
A native of Millis, Massachusetts, the 18-year-old Boldy was projected in the top-ten by many rankings after tallying 17 goals and 26 assists in 28 games with the USNTDP Juniors team in the USHL. He added 33 goals and 48 assists in 64 games while serving as an alternate captain for the United States National Under-18 Team. He ranked fourth on the team in total points, fourth in assists and third in goals.
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound winger is committed to Boston University next season, meaning it will be at least one year before he will likely make an impact on the Wild, but picking outside of the top three would have certainly put the Wild in that position, regardless of who they selected.
That said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Boldy is ready to sign with the Wild within two years. He has little to improve on — namely his spreed and stride are somewhat limited, but Boldy is otherwise close to a perfect prospect.
Others may be interested in seeing the winger away from linemate and first overall selection Jack Hughes, but in the 2017-18 season, Boldy was still with the Under-17 squad while Hughes was in the older group, and he notched 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in 61 games.
What makes Boldy stand out is his skill with the puck. His intense hockey IQ paired with hands that are repeatedly referred to in scouting reports as “silky smooth,” Boldy is a unique forward who is able to impose his will onto the ice. Not only is he a goal-scorer, but he’s able to be a playmaker, as well.
The Wild have added a smart, versatile forward to their ranks. His full potential is certainly too early to judge, but it’s hard to imagine GM Paul Fenton doesn’t see Boldy slotting into the Wild’s middle-six — and maybe sooner, rather than later.