NHL draft preview: Wild likely to say goodbye to Clutterbuck


The NHL season just ended, but draft day is already upon us, and only one thing is certain for the Minnesota Wild: The team doesn't have a first-round draft pick.

Aside from that, there's no telling who or what might be left Sunday afternoon in Newark, N.J. by the time the Wild gets to its first pick, which is in the 2nd round and 46th overall.

(The first round pick traded to Buffalo in the Jason Pominville deal.)

Because of that, there's speculation that GM Chuck Fletcher, always a wheeler-dealer type, will be trying to trade up into the first round, and all signs (well, most, anyway) point to Cal Clutterbuck as trade bait.

Fletcher has a history of trades at or around the draft, says the Star Tribune, and "There is a very likely chance Cal Clutterbuck’s time with the Wild ends Sunday," Michael Russo writes. "The Wild has gotten a lot of interest for the 25-year-old restricted free agent."

Other possible ship-outs, according to Russo: Defenseman Tom Gilbert, maybe center Zenon Konopka. The team has heard of interest about Devin Setoguchi and Kyle Brodziak.

The draft is deep this year, but If the Wild can’t trade into the first round, it’ll be the first time in history the team won't have a first-round pick.

As for locals going to the big time, the Strib has this handy list of NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s top five North American skaters from Minnesota::

Rank/name Pos. Hometown 2012-13 team

44. Tommy Vannelli D Victoria, Minnetonka High School. 

45. Connor Hurley C Edina, Edina H.S.

64. Teemu Kivihalme D Savage, Burnsville H.S. 

77. Avery Peterson C Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids H.S.

81. Blake Heinrich D Cambridge, Sioux City (USHL)

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