In 2018-19, the Minnesota Wild missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, as a result, they will select in the top-15 for just the second time since 2013.
The Wild could have some tough days ahead. Their core is among the oldest in the NHL and they don’t have any elite prospects coming up through the pipeline to save them. Minnesota had done a good job drafting, but have struggled in recent years. Since selecting Matt Dumba with the No.7 pick in 2012, the Wild have not had a player that they’ve drafted play over 100 NHL games for them. Alex Tuch was arguably their best draft pick since that 2012 Draft, but the Wild traded him to the Vegas Golden Knights to protect exposed players like Dumba.
Heading into 2019-20, the Wild need more from recent draft picks like Joel Eriksson Ek, Jordan Greenway and Luke Kunin if they’re going to stay in the playoff hunt. However, there is not a lot to suggest that any of them are ready to be top-6 forwards next year.
With the No.12 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Minnesota Wild select…
Alex Newhook — C — Canada 🇨🇦
Newhook had a fantastic Junior-A career and is set to join Boston College for the 2019-20 NCAA season. He led the BCHL in points this year, scoring 38 goals and 64 assists (102 points) in 53 games as the captain of the Victoria Grizzlies.
The Canadian centre is an explosive two-way player with a ton of speed and skill. Newhook isn’t overly big (5-foot-10, 190 lbs) but he has a sturdy lower-body and uses it to be strong on the boards and hard on the forecheck.
There are obvious concerns about drafting Junior-A players early-on because they often dominate much less difficult opposition than you would find in the CHL. Tyson Jost was the No.10 pick in 2016 after putting up very similar BCHL numbers, scoring 42 goals with 62 assists (104 points) in 48 games with the Penticton Vees. Since being drafted, Jost hasn’t done much for Colorado, most recently scoring just 11 goals with 15 assists (26 points) in 70 games. Minnesota might have to take the risk associated with Newhook though because they desperately need a point-producing centre in their farm system. They will also have the No.11 pick in the second and third rounds but do not have a fourth or fifth round pick.
[Newhook] has a ton of high-end components in his game between his skating, skill and vision to potentially be a top scorer at the pro level. I don’t know if Newhook’s role in the pros is an all-situations forward or a typical top-six scorer, but I think he has all the offensive tools to be a top line scorer in the NHL, whether at center or on the wing. — Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
Gifted offensive force with blinding speed, an advanced brain and phenomenal puck skills who was named the BCHL’s Rookie of the Year after notching 66 points in only 45 games. Newhook is a natural center who is quick, decisive and deadly in open ice. He always has played on a top line and top power-play unit, and watching him stickhandle around defenders with ease reveals an adversary opposing coaches are definitely fearful of. His 102 points were tops in the league and he was the youngest BCHL scoring champion since Scott Gomez did it in 1996-97. — Steve Kournianos (The Draft Analyst)
- #17 — HockeyProspect.com
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- #13 — ISS Hockey
- #13 — NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
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