MINNESOTA WILD SELECT SEVEN PLAYERS AT 2006 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
The National Hockey Leagues (NHL) Minnesota Wild selected seven players Saturday in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft at General Motors Place in Vancouver, B.C. With the ninth overall pick in the draft, the Wild selected C James Sheppard from Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
James is a solid two-way player that is very responsible on the ice and has good hockey sense, said Wild Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel Tom Thompson. He is big, strong and has the skills to become a reliable NHL player.
Minnesota selected C Ondrej Fiala (pronounced andre FEE-allah) in the second round (40th overall) from the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League (WHL), RW Cal Clutterbuck in the third round (72nd overall) from the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), D Kyle Medvec in the fourth round (102nd overall) from Apple Valley (MN) High School, G Niko Hovinen in the fifth round (132nd overall) from Jokerit Jr. of the Finnish Jr. League, F Julian Walker in the sixth round (162nd overall) from Basel of the Swiss League and RW Chris Hickey in the seventh round (192nd overall) from Cretin Derham Hall (MN) High School.
The Wild also acquired RW Pavol Demitra from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a first round pick (No. 17) and C Patrick OSullivan.
Sheppard, 18 (4/25/88), tallied 84 points (30-54=84) in 66 games last season for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound center was selected to the 2005-06 QMJHL All-Star Team and was a member of Team Canada at the 2005 Under-18 Junior World Cup. The native of Halifax, Nova Scotia ranked No. 9 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
Fiala, 18 (11/4/87), notched 35 points (21-14=35) and 26 penalty minutes in 51 contests with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL during the 2005-06 campaign. The 6-foot-1, 183-pound forward was a member of the Czech Republics Under-18 team for the 2005 World Championships and was selected to play in the 2006 Top Prospects Game in Ottawa. The Sternberk, Czech Republic-native was ranked 14th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
Clutterbuck, 18 (11/18/87), tallied 68 points (35-33=68) in 66 games with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL in 2005-06. The 5-foot-10, 196-pound forward was a member of Team Canada for both the 2004 Under-18 World Cup and the 2005 Under-18 World Championships. A native of Welland, Ontario, Clutterbuck was ranked No. 24 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
Medvec, 18 (6/16/88), notched 31 points (12-19=31) and 36 PIM in 25 games with Minnesotas Apple Valley High School in 2005-06. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound defenseman is slated to play in the USHL next season, before enrolling at the University of Vermont. A native of Westminister, Colo., Medvec was ranked No. 82 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
Hovinen, 18 (3/16/88), earned a .918 save percentage to go along with a 3.12 GAA in 26 games with Jokerit Jr. of the Finnish Jr. League in 2005-06. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound goaltender is a native of Helsinki, Finland and was ranked No. 7 among European goaltenders in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
Walker, 19 (9/10/86), played in 37 games for Basel of the Swiss League last season and tallied two goals to go along with 39 PIM. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound forward is a native of Bern, Switzerland and was ranked No. 104 among European skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
Hickey, 17 (9/2/88), just finished his junior season at Cretin Derham Hall High School, where he played in 28 games, notching 56 points and helping his squad to a Minnesota State High School League State Championship this past season. A native of Saint Paul, Minn., the 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward will attend the University of Wisconsin in 2007-08.