Okay, we're going to break radio silence in a big way, live-blogging from the NHL draft party being held at Tom Reid's hockey city pub, just a couple blocks from the X.
It's been a while, so let me just say (as everyone at the podium will tonight) Congratulations to the L.A. Kings on their Stanley Cup win. We're happy for you. Now it's over.
Lots of Wild news to catch up on. Josh Harding gets a new three-year deal, Cody Almond leaves for Europe, Latendresse appears prepared to cut a deal and stay here. I'm refusing to get sucked into the Parise/Suter speculation, since no one except the two of them really know what's going on.
As for the Wild's pick, #7, I'm still bitter about our late-season wins that took us from a possible #3 pick down to #7, so whomever we choose tonight is going to have to work past that. There are 4-5 top-shelf defensemen available in the first 10 picks, and since that fits our need, it seems likely that Griffin Reinhart or Jacob Trouba are strong possiblities.
I was very high a couple months ago on Mikhail Grigorenko, the talented Russian who came to Canada to play juniors. His stock has fallen, however, and it seems he will be available to the Wild at #7. Radek Faksa is another intriguing forward who has both size (6-2, 203) and scoring ability (67 points in 62 games last season in juniors).
6:00...almost show time.
Edmonton picks #1 for the third straight year. There has to be some reward for living in Edmonton. They will take Yakupov, unless GM Steve Tambellini has a stroke on his way to the stage.
Oilers on the clock...Apparently they'll get a new building if they ever make the playoffs again.
Yakupov it is....
Columbus is next....perhaps the most cursed franchise in pro sports. They managed to stink all last season, finish with the worst record and still NOT get the first draft pick. And their best player, Rich Nash, wants out of town. A deal for this pick is still possible.
First trade of the night. Ducks give Lubomir Visnovsky to the Islanders for next year's second-round pick.
Ryan Murray goes #2 to CBJ. Also predicted by most mock drafts...Now it gets a little squirrelier.
Montreal on the clock. Alex Galchenyuk is the forward that is next on many mock drafts, but he missed almost all of last season with an ACL injury. Risky, but huge potential up-side, and the Montreal fans have a greater appreciation for Russians that other cities do.
Galchenyuk it is....Now we're in a position where we know the Wild will get either Reinhart, Forsberg, Reilly, Trouba or Faksa....quality no matter what.
Islanders, who beat the Wild twice last season, are up next.
Isles take Reinhart....great pick.
Here come the Leafs at #5....Take Morgan Reilly, another good D, another guy off of knee surgery
Ducks and Wild next.....Wild will get Forsberg, Trouba or Faksa.
Ducks surprise a little with Lindholm, although he's been moving up the boards the past couple of weeks. Several good players available for the Wild at this point.
Matthew Dumba, welcome to the State of Hockey. Scouting report here: http://thehockeywriters.com/mathew-dumba-the-next-ones-nhl-2012-draft-prospect-profile/
Makes sense as the best available D-man, huge offensive upside. Not huge, but big enough.
Pittsburgh sends Jordan Staal to Carolina...Pens fans go wild and now they're on the clock.
HUGE thumbs-up for TSN's broadcast. James Duffy is an unbelievable host, coordinating McKenzie, McGuire, Button and all the other guys around him, stays calm the whole time.
Pens will now pick #8 and #22.
Pens take Pouliot....A lot of high-quality players on the board as Forsberg has fallen. There's also Ceci, Trouba, Teravainen, Grigorenko
More on Dumba....Filipino mother, Romanian father (according to Russo). Scouts praise his hockey knowledge and competitive fire. Big hitter, particularly for someone just 6-0, 170 pounds. Most scouts think he is a year or two away from the NHL, but he told a reporter he thinks he's ready now.
Trouba to the Jets at #9. I'd like to hear the Wild scouts outline what they perceived as Dumba's edge over Trouba. Now they'll face each other a bunch (if the player's union ever lets realignment happen.)
Tampa takes Slater Koekkoek....most mocks had him quite a bit lower.
Forsberg is going to be on suicide watch shortly.
And now now he's off it, as the Capitals take him with the #11 pick.
Sabres take Grigorenko....I'm glad he's going to the Eastern Conference.
Faksa to Dallas at #12...I saw some boards that had him in the top 5...He left home at 11 years old to get better coaching and improve his hockey...11!
Buffalo trades their #21 and #42 to Flames to move up to #14....to take......Zemgus Girgensons...highest-chosen Latvian player ever. Sabres trying to load up on offense. Calgary either wasn't in love with anyone at #13, or confident they can get the guy they want at #21.
Cody Ceci to the Senators at #15. He slipped a bit, but apparently brought his entire extended family to the draft.
Tom Wilson goes to the Caps with their second first-round pick. (The first one was the pick they stole from the idiots in the Colorado Avalanche front office for Sergei Varlamov.) More offense.
San Jose on the clock....and they take. Thomas Hertl. Czech player with big point totals at last year's World Juniors.
It doesn't look as though the Wild will make a deal for another pick, so we're going to shut things down here at Tom Reid's...I'll update the last few picks later.
Again, great time at Tom Reid's....he's always a great host. And I think the Wild did well with Dumba.