Written by Craig Schroepfer
The best way to describe the 2014 NHL Draft is forward heavy. If you need a center or a wing there is a good chance you can get one in this draft.
That’s exactly what the Minnesota Wild did Friday night as they selected Alex Tuch with the 18th pick overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Otherwise it was a pretty quiet night for Minnesota.
They looked to trade back in the draft and acquire a second round pick in the process only to find no deals to their liking.
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher was surprised by the lack of deals.
“I think there are some things teams are still working on. Vancouver was very busy before the draft and Pittsburgh and Nashville made their trade during the draft. The cap ceiling being lower than expected may have tightened up the market,” Fletcher said.
When asked about being close to any deals Fletcher said they were more concerned with quality.
“We talked to several teams about moving back and received a lot of calls closer to our pick. But with the chance to add a power forward with the 18th pick we chose to go with quality over quantity,” he said.
Tuch was surprised to be picked by Minnesota saying they weren’t one of the teams that stood out when he met with NHL teams
“I’m really happy the Wild picked me because it’s such a great organization with a good winning culture and a lot of good players,” Tuch said.
Tuch played for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. He is 6’3, 218 pounds and set to attend Boston College next fall.
Tuch describes himself as a big strong power forward who is very versatile and very skilled with a heavy shot and can play all three ends of the ice. Tuch says he models his game after Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and David Backes of St. Louis. Tuch thinks his size will be a nice compliment to the skill and speed of the other forwards on the Wild.
As for the rest of the draft Fletcher hasn’t ruled out trying to trade into the second round on day two. “The first round went the way many people thought it would. Every team I guarantee has a lot of names they still like on the board. If we can find a way to get a second round pick we will,” he said.
If Minnesota is unable to trade into the second round, Fletcher is comfortable with the draft strategy prepared by his scouting staff.
One thing the Wild will look to do on day two of the draft is add a goaltender as there are several names they like that are still on the board.
Day one of the draft may have lacked drama the NHL is known for but don’t be surprised if there is a lot of movement and trades by teams on day two.