The Minnesota Wild selected four players during the 2016 NHL Entry Draft Friday and Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y., including three players during rounds two-seven Saturday. Minnesota finished the Draft having selected three forwards and a defenseman, including two Americans, one player from Russia and one from Canada. For more information, visit wild.com/DraftCentral.
Minnesota selected center Luke Kunin (pronounced KUHN-in), 15th overall, during the Draft’s first round Friday night. The 18-year-old (12/4/97), totaled 32 points (19-13=32) and 34 penalty minutes (PIM) in 34 games during his first season at the University of Wisconsin in 2015-16, leading the club in goals and shots, and ranking second in points. The native of Chesterfield, Mo., was the second-youngest player in the NCAA in 2015-16, but tied for third in goals amongst all freshman skaters and became the first Badger to be named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. The 6-foot, 193-pound forward totaled 33 points (18-15=33) and 28 PIM in 52 games as captain of the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team in 2014-15. Kunin registered 38 points (20-18=38) and 39 PIM in 52 games with the U.S. NTDP’s Under-17 Team in 2013-14. He captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship, scoring six goals in seven games, and helped the U.S. claim gold at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Minnesota started Saturday by selecting forward Brandon Duhaime (pronounced DO-haime) in the fourth round with the 106th overall selection. The 19-year-old (5/22/97) spent the 2015-16 season in the United States Hockey League (USHL), recording 32 points (10-22=32) and 97 PIM in 39 games with Chicago before totaling 10 points (5-5=10) and 46 PIM in 18 games with Tri-City, adding eight points (4-4=8) in 11 USHL playoff games as the Storm won the Clark Cup Championship. The 6-foot, 198-pound native of Parkland, Fla., is committed to play at Providence College this fall.
The Wild selected forward Dmitry Sokolov in the seventh round with the 196th overall selection. The 18-year-old (4/14/98) native of Omsk, Russia, totaled 52 points (30-22=52) and 13 PIM in 68 games with Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2015-16, leading the club in both goals and points. In 2014-15, the 5-foot-11, 220-pound forward netted 16 points (13-3=16) in 29 games with Omsk in the Russian Junior League. Sokolov represented Russia at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship, posting five points (3-2=5) in five games, and also played for his country at the 2015 Five Nations Tournament and 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Minnesota finished the event by selecting defenseman Braydyn Chizen with the 204th overall selection in the seventh round. The 6-foot-8, 191-pound blueliner posted two points (1-1=2) and 40 PIM in 45 games with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2015-16. The native of St. Albert, Alta., also played two games with Kelowna in 2014-15.