Wild's GM Fletcher stocks up
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- New Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher continued his wheeling and dealing in the NHL draft on Saturday, trading the Wild's fourth- and fifth-round picks to Edmonton for center Kyle Brodziak.
The 25-year-old Brodziak had 27 points in 79 games for the Oilers last season. The 6-foot-2 Alberta native had career highs of 14 goals and 17 assists in 80 games with Edmonton in 2007-08.
Brodziak played on the fourth line in Edmonton, but the Wild desperately needed to bolster their depth at center. Mikko Koivu was the only player on the team to give them a consistent presence in the face-off circle last season.
Brodziak, who played for new Wild coach Todd Richards at Wilkes Barre in the AHL, won 51.6 percent of his faceoffs last season. Fletcher has called draft picks "the lifeblood of an organization," which underscores the impact he believes Brodziak can make with the Wild next season.
The deal provided a solid return on investment for the Oilers, who drafted Brodziak in the seventh round in 2003.
After taking Eden Prairie defenseman Nick Leddy in the first round on Friday night, Fletcher grabbed another couple of players with local connections on Saturday.
The Wild selected right wing Alexander Fallstrom of Sweden in the fourth round and left wing Erik Haula of Finland in the seventh. Both played at prep hockey powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault.
Fallstrom will play at Harvard next season, and Haula has committed to play for the University of Minnesota in 2010-11 after spending next year in the USHL.
The Wild selected goalie Matthew Hackett, the nephew of former NHL goalie Jeff Hackett, in the third round. They added left wing Kristopher Foucault, goalie Darcy Kuemper and forward Jere Sallinen in the sixth and center Anthony Hamburg in the seventh round.
Hackett appears to be the best of the bunch. He was 34-15-3 with a .913 save-percentage for Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League last season and was ranked as the top North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting.
With Niklas Backstrom locked up to an extension, the Wild have been dangling backup Josh Harding in trade discussions. So adding 19-year-olds Hackett and Kuemper to the farm system will help replenish the talent pool should Harding depart in a trade.
NHL bloodlines were in full evidence once again during the draft.
Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, whose son Chris was chosen 33rd overall by Capitals in 2006, saw another of his sons drafted when the New York Rangers selected Ryan Bourque in the third round, 80th overall.
"Well, just his influence on me has been tremendous," Ryan Bourque said. "Even off-ice, just to see him day in and day out with the way he handles things, his character and professionalism. Then you've got on-ice things such as skills and it's just been great to have him there and to learn from him."
Buffalo drafted left wing Marcus Foligno, the son of former Sabres star Mike Foligno, in the fourth round, 104th overall. Mike Foligno's older son, Nick Foligno, is a left wing with the Ottawa Senators.
"This is awesome. It just worked out perfect," Marcus Foligno said. "It seemed like it was meant to be."
Other Moves• The Los Angeles traded center Brian Boyle to the New York Rangers for a 2010 third-round pick.
• The Pittsburgh Penguins traded unsigned draft choice goalie Chad Johnson to the Rangers for the No. 151 pick in this year's draft.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Family: Howe recovering after serious stroke
- Rangers' Moore suspended 5 games for hit
- Bruins' Krug (broken finger) out 2-3 weeks
- Canucks' Miller 30th goalie to 300th victory