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6:00 p.m. NHL Draft Update: Wild linked to Oilers' Nugent-Hopkins


Here's what you need to know about the Minnesota Wild and all the reports related to Thomas Vanek's contract and potential trades and free-agent interest. All of this unfolding as the NHL Draft begins tonight. The Wild have the No. 15 overall selection.

The Latest

The Minnesota Wild have expressed interest in center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins according to Michael Russo. A few other teams have been linked to the former first overall pick including the St. Louis Blues.

The Wild and Edmonton Oilers have been engaging in talks for a possible trade leading up to Saturday's draft. Edmonton is interested with defenseman Matt Dumba according to Bob McKenzie of TSN Sports.

Vanek buyout

Thee Minnesota Wild announced on Friday afternoon that they have bought out Thomas Vanek saving the team $5 million in cap space, boosting their total cap space number to $14 million.

Trading Kuemper or a young D-man

Fletcher admitted earlier this week that he's not opposed to trading backup goalie Darcy Kuemper or one of the team's young defensemen if it means he can get a young forward in return.

Free agency

The top priority for Fletcher is to sign a player that can score some goals. Zach Parise led Minnesota with 25 goals last season, which only helped the team finish 18th in the league with an average of 2.6 goals per game.

“There’s so much talent in this league. There’s not a lot separating most of us, and I think if we could find a way to score goals a little more easily that would certainly help our cause,” Fletcher said Thursday, via the AP.

The teams at the top of the league in goals scored went deep into the playoffs. Pittsburgh (3rd in goals) won the Stanley Cup over San Jose (4th in goals), and league-leading Dallas (265 goals) knocked the Wild (213 goals) out of the playoffs.

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