While no Minnesota prospect heard their name be called in the first round for the second consecutive year, the State of Hockey once again had a good result as 11 players who played Minnesota amateur hockey were selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, along with two players who have familial ties to Minnesota Wild alums.
Minnesotan Selections in the 2020 NHL Draft
Selected: 2nd round (45th overall) by the Los Angeles Kings
Amateur Team: USA U-18s
Hometown: Maple Grove, Minn.
The University of Minnesota commit will bring great skating and a big frame to the Los Angeles blue line, using his size and speed to prevent opponents from easily gaining the offensive zone.
Selected: 3rd round (80th overall) by the Calgary Flames
Amateur Team: Lincoln Stars, USHL
Hometown: Edina, Minn.
Another future Golden Gopher, Boltmann was surprised to hear his name called on day two, as he went unranked by most scouting services. Flames GM Brad Treliving described Boltmann as “a gifted skater, great edges, smart and competitive.”
Selected: 3rd round (81st overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks
Amateur Team: Andover Stars, MSHSL
Hometown: Ham Lake, Minn.
Kaiser’s selection made it two-in-a-row for Minnesotans in the third round. The scouting report on the soon-to-be University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog shows a speedy skater with strong edges and good maneuverability, making him a tough defenseman to forecheck against.
Kaiser also had the burn of the draft when asked about being taken by the Blackhawks instead of his hometown Wild:
Wyatt Kaiser, picked 79th by the Hawks, grew up in Minnesota and said he was a Wild fan.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 7, 2020
"But the Wild have kind of let me down lately."
Selected: 3rd round (91st overall) by the Vegas Golden Knights
Amateur Team: St. Thomas Academy Cadets, MSHSL
Hometown: Eagan, Minn.
The Golden Knights grabbed one of the fastest skaters in the draft in Hallum. The St. Thomas Academy Cadet committed to the University of Michigan in September, and reportedly was informed he was selected by Vegas on the way to his Econ class.
Selected: 4th round (102nd overall) by the Montreal Canadiens
Amateur Team: St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders, MSHSL
Hometown: St. Cloud, Minn.
Tying the score at 2-2 for UMD vs. the U of M, Smith is smart, offensive-minded forward who scored 129 points in 61 regular-season games at Cathedral. Smith was ranked #169 by NHL Central Scouting for North American skaters, so the Habs must have really liked what they saw in the future Bulldog.
Selected: 4th Round (109th overall) by the Montreal Canadians
Amateur Team: Hermantown Hawks, MSHSL
Hometown: Hermantown, Minn.
Just seven picks later, the Canadiens take another UMD commit. Biondi was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey after scoring an incredible 3.04 points per game for the Hawks. And as for pedigree, Blake is the son of Joseph Biondi, a ninth-round selection by the Minnesota North Stars in 1990 out of Minnesota-Duluth, though he never made the NHL.
Selected: 4th round (113rd overall) by the Vancouver Canucks
Amateur Team: Shattuck St. Mary’s
Hometown: Grand Forks, ND
A North Dakota commit, Kunz is a playmaker with good hockey sense and strong passing ability. He finished the 2019-20 season at Shattuck with 40 goals and 29 assists in 69 games. He’ll play the 2020-21 season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.
Selected: 5th round (130th overall) by the New Jersey Devils
Amateur Team: Shattuck St. Mary’s
Hometown: Moskva, Russia
Another big scorer from Shattuck, the 6-foot-1, 174 pound winger brings strong puck skills and the ability to crash the net and clean up rebounds. Originally committed to Boston University, Shlaine flipped to UConn and will start his collegiate career there in 2020-21.
Selected: 5th round (151st overall) by the Boston Bruins
Amateur Team: Eden Prairie Eagles, MSHSL
Hometown: Moose Lake, Minn.
Yep, those Langenbrunners. Mason is the son of long-time Dallas Star and New Jersey Devil forward Jamie Langunbrunner. The younger Langenbrunner transferred from Cloquet to Eden Prairie for the 2019-20 season and scored 19 points in 25 games. He’ll move on to Harvard in the 2020-21 season.
Selected: 6th round (168th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Amateur Team: Kiekko-Espoo U20 “A”, Jr. A SM-Liiga
Hometown: Espoo, Finland
Nope, no relation to former Wild Antti “Mittens” Miettinen. Veeti will be bringing his accurate shooting and quick, agile skating to the St. Cloud Huskies next season.
Selected: 6th round (180th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Amateur Team: Blake Bears, MSHSL
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Miller led the Bears with 59 points in 25 games as Blake won third place in the 2019-20 Class AA boys hockey tournament. Very fast but a bit undersized at 5-foot-9 and 146 pounds, Miller will hope to grow his size and his skill at the University of Minnesota in 2021-22. The Leafs’ selection brings the number of Gopher draftees to three, tying the UMD Bulldogs.
Wild fans will recognize two other names called in the 2020 NHL Draft, as a pair of relatives to former Wild players were selected on Wednesday.
Selected: 2nd round (47th overall) by the Montreal Canadiens
Amateur Team: US National U18 Team
Hometown: Baldwinsville, NY
Luke was taken a round later than his brother, 2014 first-round Wild selection Alex Tuch, but will bring a similar skillset to Boston Univiersity in 2020-21. At 6-foot-2 and 203 pounds, the younger Tuch has the size and skill to be a strong power forward in the NHL.
Selected: Fifth round (139th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche
Amateur Team: Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL
Hometown: Birmingham, Mich.
The 6-foot-1 174-pound progeny of former Wild, Bruins and Devils great Brian Rolston, Ryder is tall and strong like his famous father. He’s fast, mobile and has a quick wrister. No word on his shootout slapshot.