Six NHL Draft Prospects that Fit Minnesota Wild Perfectly at Lucky No. 13

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Lucky No. 13?

The Minnesota Wild are hoping for good fortune with the 13th overall selection in the 2024 NHL Draft, which will be held on June 28th and 29th in Las Vegas. Sure, it’s a possibility the Wild could deal away that selection to move up or down the draft board or to acquire a player who would fill a more immediate need on the roster.

The options for general manager Bill Guerin and his staff are plentiful, whether it is on the trade front or when they step to the lectern in Las Vegas and make their selection. This year’s draft has plenty of intrigue with its uncertainty.

6 ideal NHL Draft prospects for the Minnesota Wild at Pick 13

Macklin Celebrini is the clear-cut choice for top pick, but the order of selection from there would be more difficult to pin down than stopping Kirill Kaprizov on a one-on-one. Good luck! By the time the Wild receive their turn, who remains available could be a wide-ranging group.

Carter Yakemchuk, defense, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

The Wild’s prospects pool has a highly rated goaltender in Jesper Wallstedt and a bevy or forwards. Things are more thin at defense. Lucky for them (keeping with the theme), there are a couple of defensive prospects in this draft who should be able to help fix their depth problem at that position.

Let’s start with Carter Yakemchuk, the 6-foot-3, 195-lb., blueliner who has a blend of size, skill (30 goals and 71 points) and snark (120 penalty minutes) that could eventually add a nice touch to Minnesota’s always strong blueline brigade. If Bill Guerin wants to add talent to the blue line, Yakemchuk will do just that.

Adam Jiricek, defense, HC Plzen (Czechia)

Jiricek played only 19 games this season in the Czech Extraliga before suffering a season-ending knee injury iat the world junior tournament. Adam is the younger brother of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Jiricek.

Little brother is a mobile 2-way defender who would probably be a top-10 selection, had it not been for his injury, but that could end up working out in Minnesota’s favor, if Jiricek were to drop to lucky No. 13 and, after a full recovery, would up as a steal that far down the board.

A couple of other defensemen names to watch at No 13 are Zayne Parekh and Zeev Buium, who could potentially slide into Minnesota’s hands as well.

Tij Iginla, left wing, Kelowna (WHL)

Speaking of players whose ranking has gone all over the map, the son of hall of famer Jarome Iginla has race up the charts over a breakout season in which he racked up 47 goals and 84 points and added nine goals and 15 points in 11 playoff games.

Related: Out of Shape Filip Gustavsson on Wild Trade Block

He does not play with the same physical power of his father, but has a better amount of finesse. Wild fans should remember how much Jarome feasted on their club back in the day. It would be kismet for Tij to star in Minnesota.

Cole Eiserman, left wing, US Development team

On the other end of the scale of players moving around the board, is Cole Eiserman who was touted as the likely second overall pick in 2024 around this time last year. Is his fall down the draft board more due to how other players have developed, or is his game going stagnate. That’s something Billy G will and his staff will have to decide.

Curiously, Eiserman’s has delivered the offensive play he’s known for, although the knocks are his skating, playmaking and defensive awareness. His offensive touch will be difficult to overlook.

Berkly Catton, center, Spokane (WHL)

Size is the only question mark about Catton as he heads to the draft. He is 5-foot-10, considered on the small side of being a top-two center, even in today’s NHL. That said, he is a legitimate play driver and leader, who has an excellent all-around game, capped by the 54-goal, 116-point campaign that pushed his team into the playoffs.

A similar player who could also be available is Konsta Helenius of Finland, who spent the season in his country’s top league and is currently skating at the world championships. 

Beckett Sennecke, right wing, Oshawa (OHL)

Another forward who has climbed the ranks thanks to a strong season, Sennecke is a 6-foot-2 power forward with a strong offensive game and playmaking skills, as displayed by the 29 goals and 68 points he collected in the regular season. Playing a huge part in his team’s trip to the league final — 10 goals and 22 points thus far — will help Sennecke’s stock.

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Randy Sportak covers the NHL for Field Level Media. It wasn’t long after learning to walk that he was wearing skates in northern British Columbia. Since then, hockey has been a huge part of his world, including 15 years on the NHL beat with the Calgary Sun.

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