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Wilderness Walk: Wild almost landed second 1st-round pick last week

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Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

2020 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Erin Loughrey/NHLI via Getty Images

That’s Wild

-The Seattle Kraken and their upcoming expansion draft is looming in the background of every transaction a team makes in preparation for the final season with 31 teams. As the Wild wind down their offseason moves, we take a look at Minnesota’s projected protection list for the (hopefully) final expansion draft in NHL history. [Hockey Wilderness]

-Other executives around the league are extremely jealous of the success the Wild had during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and have predicted that Minnesota will be a better team because of the moves they made so far this offseason. This and other anonymous takes from team employees around the NHL are in this unfiltered article. [The Athletic]

-Speaking of the draft, ninth-overall selection Marco Rossi did not hesitate when ask whether he wants to join the Wild next season. A debut that he has been working his entire life for might just happen and he is certainly hungry. [Dan Rosen - NHL]

-In his latest 31 Thoughts blog, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman quickly mentioned that the Wild were hot after the Florida Panthers’ 12th-overall pick during last week’s draft. Whether they would have made the same selection in center Anton Lundell is a different story, but it appears that GM Bill Guerin was trying to accelerate the rebuild with a stellar crop of prospects from this year’s class. [Sportsnet]

Off the trail...

-Just 24 hours after the team and player reportedly broke off talks, Brendan Gallagher signed a six-year contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens with a cap hit of $6.5-million. So much for drama.

-The Boston Bruins might not be the Big Bad Bruins to start the 2020-21 season. Arguably their two best forwards, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, are set to miss the beginning of next season after offseason surgeries to repair some injuries sustained in the postseason bubble. Yikes.

-Teams can prepare for the upcoming season all they like, but there is still plenty of uncertainty when it comes to how it will work without recreating the bubble. One thing that might be coming into fruition is a league divided by a border, with the Canadian and American teams only playing each other during the entire regular season.