ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -The Minnesota Wild have been stuck in the NHL's middle for a while now, not contending for the Stanley Cup but not playing poorly enough to get the top picks in the draft.
Since getting Marian Gaborik third overall before their first season in 2000, the Wild have chosen in the top five only once. Benoit Pouliot was the No. 4 selection in 2005, but he didn't pan out in Minnesota and was traded to Montreal last year.
So when the Wild come up on the clock with the ninth overall pick Friday night, they need to make a shrewd selection to begin to rebuild their depth of young prospects.
In all, they have four of the first 69 picks and five of the first 99 selections.