Press release courtesy of Minnesota Wild.
MINNESOTA WILD COMPLETES NHL ENTRY DRAFT
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild selected center Colton Gillies with the 16th overall pick in Friday’s first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Minnesota acquired the 16th overall pick from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the Wild’s 19th and 42nd pick in this year’s draft.
“Colton is a potential power forward who is physically aggressive, very competitive and one of the best skaters in the draft,” said Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel Tom Thompson.
Gillies, 18 (2/12/89), recorded 30 points (13-17=30) including four power play goals and 148 penalty minutes (PIM) in 65 games with the Saskatoon Blades during his second full season in the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2006-07. The 6-foot-4, 189-pound native of White Rock, British Columbia ranked first on his team in PIM, fifth in goals and sixth in scoring. He participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game and recorded two goals and an assist in six games for Team Canada at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships. Gillies also served as an assistant captain of the gold-medal winning Team Canada at the 2006 Under-18 Junior World Cup. He was the 12th ranked player in the draft by the International Scouting Service (ISS).
On the second day of the Draft, Minnesota selected defenseman Justin Falk in the fourth round (110th overall) from the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL), center Cody Almond in the fifth round (140th overall) from the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, defenseman Harri Ilvonen in the sixth round (170th overall) from Tappara in the Finnish Junior League and right wing Carson McMillan in the seventh round (200th overall) from the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.
Falk, 18 (10/11/88), recorded 15 points (3-12=15) and 88 penalty minutes (PIM) in 62 games with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs in 2006-07. He led the Chiefs with a +11 rating and ranked fourth in PIM. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound defenseman was ranked 74th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings. Falk recorded 10 assists in 53 games with Spokane and Calgary in 2005-06.
Almond, 17 (7/24/89), recorded 43 points (15-28=43) including four power play goals and 72 PIM in 68 games during his first full season with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets in 2006-07. The 6-foot-2, 194 pound center led the Rockets in points and assists and ranked tied for second in goals and ranked 14th overall in scoring amongst WHL rookies. The Calgary, Alberta-native notched three points (2-1=3) in 23 games with Kelowna in 2005-06.
Ilvonen, 18 (11/3/88), recorded 30 points (9-21=30) and 38 PIM in 39 games with Tappara in the Finnish Junior League in 2006-07. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound defenseman was the 21st ranked European skater in the NHL Central Scouting Service final rankings.
McMillan, 18, (9/10/88), collected 22 points (7-15=22) and 76 PIM in 72 games with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen in 2006-07. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound right wing added one power play marker and two shorthanded goals during the regular season and added two goals and 17 PIM in 18 playoff contests with the Hitmen. The Brandon, Manitoba-native registered five points (3-2=5) and 42 PIM in 59 games during his rookie campaign with Calgary in 2005-06.