Minnesota Wild 2018 Draft Review and Development Camp Updates

Jokke Nevalainen


Minnesota Wild logo courtesy of 365twincities.com

31 in 31 Series, July: Minnesota Wild


Draft Review


It was Paul Fenton’s first draft as the GM of the Wild. He didn’t make any trades during the draft weekend and instead just decided to use the picks that were available for him. The Wild had previously traded away their second and fourth round picks but they had also acquired two third-round picks and a fifth-rounder which meant they had a total of eight picks to make.


Round 1 – 24th overall: Filip Johansson, D


Most pre-draft rankings had Johansson somewhere late in the second round but the Wild saw something more in him and decided to take him late in the first round. Johansson is a smart two-way defenseman with high hockey IQ and average size (6-0, 176). He has been focusing more on the defensive side of the game but has shown flashes of offensive upside occasionally. He’s a smooth operator who does everything well but doesn’t seem to excel in any aspect of the game. You have to really watch him carefully to notice the small things he does so well.


Johansson started the season in the top junior league in Sweden (SuperElit) but finished the season playing against men at the second-highest level in Sweden (Allsvenskan). Johansson received more responsibility as the season progressed and played big minutes by the end of it. He only scored one point (a goal) during 23 regular season games but became more comfortable during the qualification games where he tried to help his team earn a promotion to the top level (SHL) but they eventually lost the final series. Johansson had two goals and five points in 11 qualification games.


At the U18 World Championship tournament, Johansson had a top-four role with lots of penalty-kill responsibilities and some power play opportunities added late in the tournament. Johansson will likely need a couple of years before he’s ready to play in the NHL. For fantasy hockey purposes, he’s someone who should be drafted much later than where he went in the NHL Entry Draft. His upside is a reliable top-four defenseman with some secondary power play time possibly included but his playing style doesn’t produce a lot of points.


Round 3 – 63rd overall: Jack McBain, C


This pick was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres when they acquired Marco Scandella from the Wild. Pre-draft rankings had McBain as a possible late first-rounder but he slipped to the first pick of the third round where the Wild were happy to take him. McBain is a big power center with top-nine upside but concerns about his skating and attitude were probably reasons why he fell in the draft. McBain’s top speed is good for someone his size (6-3, 201) but his acceleration still needs to be improved before he can play in the NHL. His vision and passing skills are good, and he has a good shot as well.


Another concern when it comes to McBain is the quality of competition because he played in the OJHL. McBain wanted to go through the American college route which meant he wasn’t allowed to play in the OHL where he was drafted in the first round back in 2016. McBain scored 21 goals and 58 points in 48 games and won the OJHL Top Prospect Award, though. He’ll play in Boston College this season, so he need