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Wild selects five players in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

The draft class included three forwards and two defensemen

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Wild selected five players during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft Tuesday and Wednesday virtually from the Minnesota Wild 317 offices, including four players during rounds two-seven today. Minnesota selected three forwards and two defensemen, including two Canadians, one player from Austria, one player from Russia and one player from the Czech Republic.

Minnesota selected center Marco Rossi, ninth overall, during the Draft's first round Tuesday night. The 19-year-old (9/23/01), spent the 2019-20 season with the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), totaling 120 points (39-81=120) in 56 games. He led the OHL and all players in the Canadian Hockey League (OHL, QMJHL, WHL) in assists and points. The 5-foot-9, 183-pound native of Feldkirch, Austria, was named the OHL's Most Outstanding Player of the Year, just the second European import player to win the award and was named to the OHL First Team All-Star. He led Ottawa in plus/minus rating (plus-69) and power-play assists (31), second in goals, third in shots (193) and fifth in power-play goals (7) and game-winning goals (5). The left-shot center becomes the fifth Austrian-born player selected in the first round, joining former Wild player Thomas Vanek (No. 5, 2003), Michael Grabner (No. 14, 2006), Andre Burakovsky (No. 23, 2013) and Marko Dano (No. 27, 2013).

"Marco is a two-way center with incredible vision, skill and compete level," said Judd Brackett, Minnesota Wild Director of Amateur Scouting. "We are very excited to add his playmaking ability to our organization."

Minnesota began Wednesday by acquiring forward Nick Bonino, a second round (No. 37) and fourth round (No. 70) selections in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft from the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Luke Kunin and the 101st overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Wild selected center Marat Khusnutdinov with the 37th overall selection. The 5-foot-11, 176-pound native of Moscow, Russia, recorded 38 points (13-25=38) in 44 games with SKA St. Petersburgh (Russia-Jr.) during the 2019-20 season. The 18-year-old (7/17/02) captained Team Russia to a gold medal at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzy Cup and tallied three assists in five games. The left-shot forward also earned a gold medal with Russia at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and a silver medal at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. He is playing for St. Petersburg SKA of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for the 2020-21 season.

"Marat is an elite skater, two-way center with speed and has creative offensive vision," said Brackett.

The Wild selected defenseman Ryan O'Rourke in the second round with the 39th overall selection. The 6-foot, 178-pound native of Pickering, Ontario, was named captain of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) prior to the 2019-20 season and recorded 37 points (7-30=37) in 54 games. The 18-year-old (5/16/02) led the team with a plus-16 rating and 79 PIM and ranked fifth in assists. He led team defensemen in GWG (2) and ranked third in scoring. The left-shot forward helped Team Canada earn a silver medal at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. The blueliner registered 22 points (8-14=22) in 62 games with the Greyhounds during the 2018-19 season and ranked fifth amongst OHL rookie defensemen in scoring. He was named a tournament all-star and tied for most points by a defenseman at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with six points (3-3=6) in five games.

"Ryan is another strong skater, two-way defender with great character and grit," said Brackett.

Minnesota acquired a third round (No. 65) selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the 70th and 132nd selections in this year's draft. The Wild selected defenseman Daemon Hunt in the third round with the 65th overall selection. The 6-foot, 198-pound native of Brandon, Manitoba, tallied 15 assists in 28 games with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League (WHL) during the 2019-20 campaign. The 18-year-old (5/15/02), served on the Warriors leadership group and missed half the season due to an arm laceration injury. He helped Team Canada earn a silver medal at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzy Cup. The left-shot blueliner collected 22 points (8-14=22) in 65 contests in two seasons with the Warriors from 2017-19 and ranked fourth amongst WHL rookie defensemen with 20 points (7-13=20) in 2018-19.

"Daemon is a hard-nosed, two-way defender with excellent mobility and has strong leadership skills," said Brackett.

The Wild acquired a fifth round (No. 146) pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for the 163rd and 194th selections in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Minnesota selected center Pavel Novak in the fifth round with the 146th overall selection. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound native of Tabor, Czech Republic, spent the 2019-20 season with Kelowna (WHL) and recorded 58 points (25-33=58) in 55 games. The 18-year-old (4/16/02) led the Rockets in goals, GWG (5) and scoring, ranked T-1st in PPG (8), second in assists and plus/minus rating (plus-10) and third in shots (155). He ranked T-2nd amongst WHL rookies assists, third in scoring and fourth in goals. He registered his first career hat trick and four-point game (3-1=4) on Nov. 1 vs. Prince George. The right-shot forward has represented the Czech Republic at the 2019 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and twice at the Five Nations Tournament. He totaled 45 points (29-16=45) in 31 contests with Ceske Budejovice (CZREP-Jr.) during the 2018-19 campaign.

"Pavel is a smart possession center with good vision and great puck distribution skill," said Brackett.

Visit the Draft Central page on wild.com presented by Xcel Energy for the latest news on the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

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