NHL draft: Wild trade for Oilers' Brodziak
ST. PAUL (AP) -- 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 thinks 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 a couple more players with local connections on Saturday.
The 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 while 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.
Picks of Minnesota note
16. Minnesota (from Columbus via N.Y. Islanders), Nick Leddy, D, Eden Prairie (USHS).
22. Vancouver, Jordan Schroeder, C, U. of Minnesota (U.S. College).
41. Nashville, Zach Budish, RW, Edina HS (Minn.).
63. Pittsburgh (from Tampa Bay), Ben Hanowski, F, Little Falls HS.
67. Florida, Josh Birkholz, W, Fargo (USHL), St. Louis Park native.
71. Edmonton, Troy Hesketh, D, Minnetonka H.S. (Minn.).
77. Minnesota (from Columbus), Matthew Hackett, G, Plymouth (OHL).
89. Chicago, Daniel Delisle, C, Totino Grace H.S. (Minn.).
91. Phoenix, Michael Lee, G, Fargo (USHL) Roseau native.
103. Minnesota, Kristopher Foucault, LW, Calgary (WHL).
110. Nashville (from N.Y. Rangers), Nick Oliver, C/LW, Roseau H.S. (Minn.).
114. New Jersey, Seth Helgeson, D, Sioux City (USHL). Faribault native.
116. Minnesota (from Boston), A. Fallstrom, RW, Shattuck-St. Mary's H.S. (Minn.).
150. Detroit, Nick Jensen, D, Green Bay (USHL). St. Paul native.
152. N.Y. Islanders, Anders Lee, C, Edina H.S. (Minn.).
161. Minnesota (from Edmonton), Darcy Kuemper, G, Red Deer (WHL).
182. Minnesota (from N.Y. Islanders), Erik Haula, LW, Shattuck-St. Mary's H.S. (Minn.).
191. Ottawa, Michael Sdao, D, Lincoln (USHL), Bloomington native.
193. Minnesota, Anthony Hamburg, C, Dallas Midget Stars (Texas AAA).
196. Philadelphia (from Anaheim), Oliver Lauridsen, D, St. Cloud State University (NCAA-WCHA).
202. St. Louis (from Philadephia via Nashville), Maxwell Tardy, C, Duluth East H.S. (Minn.).