Wild1stRoundGrades

Bally Sports North

The Minnesota Wild had two first-round picks in the 2022 NHL draft. How'd they do with those selections? Well, we'll find out for sure years from now, but here's some initial thoughts -- and grades -- from around the web:

LIAM OHGREN

Bryan Murphy of Sporting News: B+. “The third member of Djurgårdens IF's junior club comes off the board as the Wild take Liam Öhgren. He's an extremely well-rounded player with a great toolkit. He already boasts NHL size and is a solid facilitator. Öhgren's a dangerous shooter on offense and an intelligent player on defense. I would have liked to see the Wild address center here with some options still on the table, but it's a good, safe pick.”

Adam Herman of Bleacher Report: B+. “Ohgren goes right around where we slotted him. Ohgren is a well-rounded player who put up incredible numbers in Sweden's top junior league. I don't think the Wild win the draft with this pick or anything, but it's a perfectly good pick at this stage and with the remaining available players.”

Mary Clarke of For The Win: C+. “You won’t find a more patient hockey player in this draft than Liam Ohgren. Overall, Ohgren is a really well rounded player and versatile player with a good shot, though he grades out to be more of a playmaker.”

Eric D of SBNation’s On the Forecheck: A+. “I’m higher on Öhgren than most, so I’m not too surprised he was available here (although I didn’t think he’d be the last of his linemates selected). I think there are elements to his game that could allow him to swim, not sink, in the NHL next season. Öhgren was my eighth-ranked prospect.”

Adam Kimelman of NHL.com: “With the pick they acquired for trading Kevin Fiala, the Wild find a wing with a similar offensive skill set. Minnesota drafted centers with their top two picks in the 2020 NHL Draft in Marco Rossi and Marat Khusnutdinov, now they find a talented wing for them to play with.”

Corey Pronman of The Athletic ($): “Calling Ohgren a goal scorer isn’t a novel observation given his stats this season, but he’s shown he can score goals in a variety of ways. He has great hands and can create offense through his skill. He generates a lot of offense around the high-percentage areas because of his strength and compete level. Ohgren also has a shot that can score from range. He’s smart enough with the puck to move it well but is more of a shooter and worker than a playmaker. His skating is OK. He projects as a top-nine winger. Ohgren provides legit skill, finishing ability and compete to the Wild, complementing a growing stable of prospects who combine skill and compete level. The Wild have done a good job drafting at the premium positions lately, and Ohgren gives them a highly talented winger now.”

Chris Peters of FloHockey: “Ohgren is physically strong, which may give him a shorter timeline to reach the NHL. He hasn't gotten a ton of pro experience yet, which is why I think he'll be in Sweden at least for another year, but there's going to be a chance for him to get to the NHL as early as 2023-24. Ohgren has been one of the late risers of this class and I wondered if he would go even higher than this slot.”

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN: “Ohgren and Noah Ostlund were the top Swedish center prospects in the draft. Ostlund was off the board at No. 16 to the Sabres, leaving Ohgren at No. 19 for the Wild. Ohgren is bigger and has a better all-around game. He's more of a goal scorer than a playmaker. Ostlund was seen as having more upside, and hence went earlier. But the Wild add a center to their mix at the position that includes Marco Rossi.”

DANILA YUROV

Bryan Murphy of Sporting News: A. “Yurov certainly took a hit on draft day due to the fact that he's from Russia and the ongoing uncertainty of their ability to come over to the United States. But Minnesota gets a steal by taking Yurov at No. 24. He plays hard and fast and comes with an excellent, well-rounded skill set. The talent is there, but he had an extremely sheltered role in the KHL, so the stats weren't impressive. The Wild already had a first-round pick before Yurov so it's not as big of a gamble.”

Adam Herman of Bleacher Report: A+. “Yurov is a complete winger. He has puck poise, scoring ability, a strong work ethic and high hockey IQ. He fell at least in part because of concern about how the Russian politics may affect his availability, but even when accounting for that, Yurov is a steal at 24th overall.”

Mary Clarke of For The Win: B-. “Grading out as an above average offensive producer with outstanding vision, Danila Yurov will likely make a real solid playmaker at the NHL level. He probably could have gone a bit earlier in the draft too, so nice steal from Yurov.”

Eric D of SBNation’s On the Forecheck: A+. “Yurov seemed like a sure bet to go to Buffalo earlier in the first round. I don’t think he’s as talented as Miroshnichenko, but he plays a different game too. He’s patient with the puck but can also drive hard to the net and score on his own. The Wild picked up some great value here.”

Adam Kimelman of NHL.com: “The Wild add another skilled wing prospect to go with Ohgren. Yurov brings a high-end two-way game with great offensive instincts. Minnesota will have to be patient with Yurov, who will play at least one more season in the KHL. But the reward could be significant.”

Corey Pronman of The Athletic ($): “Yurov’s skill stands out when you watch him. His stick skills and overall creativity with the puck are high-end. He’s a good skater and shows excellent ability to beat defenders with speed or with dekes. He also shows great skill in tight spaces to maintain possession. Yurov can make plays, but I wouldn’t call his playmaking as dynamic as his stickhandling. He’s not overly physical, but Yurov works hard to create turnovers and can kill penalties. He projects as a quality top-six winger. Yurov is a top-10 talent in the draft in the opinion of many NHL scouts, but his KHL contract understandably scared away many NHL teams. With a second first-round pick, and a now deep prospect pool, the Wild were in a strong position to make this selection and use Kirill Kaprizov as a way to attract Yurov to the NHL.”

Chris Peters of FloHockey: “The Wild take advantage of other teams being nervous about taking Russian players. He was my best player available for quite some time. Minnesota is dealing with a situation right now with Kirill Kaprizov, but are not speaking publicly about it. This pick may tip that the Wild are not as concerned as some of the reports have suggested. Yurov is under contract for one more season in the KHL. Minnesota won't be able to do much until then, but they get a year to figure out if there's a way to bring him to North America. It's higher risk, but incredibly high reward potential here.”

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN: In the weeks leading up to the draft, there was a ton of speculation about where the two Russian players projected in the first round would end up. Ivan Miroshnichenko went to the Capitals at No. 20. Danila Yurov, the other top prospect, ends up going at No. 24 to the Wild. He's a strong finisher with good goal-scoring instincts, one who sees the ice well and protects the puck. Had he gotten more minutes in the KHL, and with a different international relationship with Russia, Yurov could have been a top-10 pick.”

OTHER

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ($): Lists Wild as a winner, defined as “Teams I believe won out over their competition with consistent, sleuth, home-run-level selections relative to where they picked.” He writes: “The Wild just keep drafting well. They drafted as well as any team in the league from 2019-2021 for my money and the Ohgren and Yurov picks kicks off this draft class on the right foot too. They’re also very similar players, in that they can play it any way you’d like offensively and they’re well-rounded off the puck. They can hang onto the puck and create for themselves, they can play the give-and-go game, they can both score and play-make. And they’re both combo power and finesse players who are sturdy on their skates. Ohgren shoots it harder than Yurov (the puck really rocks back into his stance and then pops off his blade) but I think Yurov has slightly higher upside on the whole. There’s also almost no doubt in my mind that they both become good NHLers, assuming Yurov can get more reps in Russia next year and eventually get over to North America.”

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Wild 2022 NHL draft reactions: Round 1

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