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2022 NHL Draft: Wild select Danila Yurov with 24th overall pick

Wild are swinging for the fences with a Russian scorer.

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2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

At pick no. 24, the Minnesota Wild have selected Danila Yurov, a Russian winger who played last year in the MHL and KHL.

Yurov is an excellent value at pick no. 24 according to some scouts — both The Athletic’s Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler ranked Yurov 10th and 12th best prospects respectively. Pronman mocked him to be drafted at 21st overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and their mock draft had him picked 16th overall by the Buffalo Sabres. At 24th overall and having already taken a proven professional in Liam Ohgren at pick 19, it’s a great opportunity to knock the pick out of the park.

At 6-foot-1 and 179 lbs, Yurov’s best assets are his puck skills, skating, size, and vision — so, pretty much everything. Essentially, he plays a 200-foot game. One of the only concerns with Yurov is that his KHL production was limited — scored zero points in 21 appearances — although there was a bit of a logjam in front of him when called up to his KHL team, and their general apathy towards playing prospects. When playing in the MHL, Russia’s junior league, Yurov was truly special.

You can see Yurov’s player card in the tweet above — with a nearly 70 percent chance of turning into a star, Yurov had the best rank of all 2022 draft-eligible players in the model. He’s only got the sixth-best chance of playing 200+ NHL games — this is a bit of a nod to Yurov’s boom-or-bust player profile. Bader has also mentioned that Yurov could potentially be overrated in the model because there could be defensive warts to his game that slowed him down at the KHL level, but I haven’t seen much of that reported by scouts.

By the model, Yurov is immediately on-par with the top tier of Wild prospects including Marco Rossi, Matt Boldy, and Calen Addison.

This pick feels like highway robbery, and the Minnesota front office is likely popping champagne after the first round that they’ve had for themselves tonight.