Tuch Leads Minnesota Wild Draft Class
by KVRR Sports
June 28, 2014
The Minnesota Wild selected eight players during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Friday-Saturday in Philadelphia, including seven players during rounds 2-7 Saturday. Minnesota finished the Draft having selected four forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, including three Canadians, two Americans, and one player from each Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. For more information, visit wild.com/draft
Minnesota selected forward Alex Tuch, 18th overall, during the Draft’s first round Friday night. The 18-year-old (5/10/96) spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) in Ann Arbor, Mich. The 6-foot-3.5, 218-pound native of Syracuse, N.Y., posted 64 points (29-35=64) in 61 games with the U.S. Under-18 Team in 2013-14, tying for the team lead with seven game-winning goals and a plus-35 rating. He is committed to Boston College for the fall of 2014.
Minnesota started Saturday by acquiring the 80th overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and a seventh-round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from Tampa Bay in exchange for the Wild’s 79th overall selection in the 2014 Draft. With the 80th pick, the Wild selected defenseman Louie Belpedio in the third round. The 18-year-old (5/14/96) native of Skokie, Ill., spent the past two seasons alongside Tuch at the USNTDP. A 5-foot-10, 193-pound blueliner, Belpedio posted 20 points (7-13=20) in 53 games with the U.S. Under-18 program in 2013-14. He is committed to Miami University (Ohio) for the fall of 2014.
The Wild selected goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen in the fourth round with the 109th overall selection. The 17-year-old (8/16/96) native of Helsinki, Finland, posted a .912 SV% in 38 games with the Espoo Blues in Finland’s Junior League. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound netminder catches with his left glove and plays in a butterfly style.
Minnesota selected 18-year-old (10/5/95) defenseman Tanner Faith in the fifth round (139th overall). The 6-foot-3, 211-pound native of Terrace, B.C., posted one assist in 10 games with Kootenay of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2013-14, missing most of the season with an upper-body injury. He posted eight points (2-6=8) in 55 games with Kootenay in 2012-13.
With a sixth-round selection previously acquired from Ottawa, the Wild drafted defenseman Pontus Sjalin 160th overall. The 6-foot, 168-pound native of Ostersund, Sweden, totaled 31 games (21 at Division 1, six at U-18, four in U-20) for Ostersunds IK in 2013-14. The 18-year-old (6/12/96) blueliner totaled nine points (4-5=9) and a plus-21 rating.
Minnesota selected 17-year-old (9/13/96) center Chase Lang 167th overall with a sixth-round selection previously acquired from the New York Rangers. The 6-foot-1, 176-pound native of Nanaimo, B.C., totaled 25 points (10-15=25) in 68 games with Calgary (WHL) in 2013-14.
The Wild drafted center Reid Duke with its third, sixth-round selection, 169th overall. The 18-year-old (1/28/96) Calgary, Alta., native totaled 40 points (15-25=40) in 62 games with Lethbridge (WHL) in 2013-14. The 6-foot, 189-pound centerman posted 24 points (8-16=24) in 57 games with Lethbridge in 2012-13.
With its final selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Minnesota claimed center Pavel Jenys in the seventh round (199th overall). The 6-foot-2, 189-pound native of Brno, Czech Republic, totaled 21 points (15-6=21) in 55 games with Brno in 2013-14 (29 in senior division, 26 in junior division). The 18-year-old (4/2/96) added two goals in four games with Czech Republic at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge.
Courtesy: Minnesota Wild