The 2009 NHL Draft concluded Saturday with rounds 2-7. After Nick Leddy and Jordan Schroeder went in the first round as expected, 11 more Minnesotans were selected on the draft’s second day which wasn’t without a few surprises.
Mike MacMillan - Executive Director of the Minnesota Hockey Coaches
Association which represents High School Hockey Coaches says the body of high school coaches is excited not only that Nick Leddy was selected as the 16th pick overall in the NHL draft, but makes again a strong statement that High School hockey produces some of the best players in the World. It is also exciting that the State of Hockey will be able to see Nick Leddy someday play for our hometown Minnesota Wild.
High School hockey has been fortunate to produce some the the NHL's top players and draft picks(David Fischer, T.J. Oshie, Matt Niskanen, David Backes, Wagner, Aaron Ness to name just a few).
Nick Leddy has been a great example of patience and dedication to his school and HS Hockey. Nick played in the MHCA Elite II league preseason league, Elite I league preseason, which allowed him to develop to the player he is today and earned top honors recently as Mr. Hockey given to the top HS player in the State.
Concerns about his surgically repaired knee allowed future Gopher Zach Budish of Edina to fall into the laps of the Nashville Predators in round 2 (41st overall) while the state’s all-time leading scorer, Ben Hanowski of Little Falls, was selected by the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins with the second pick of round 3. Scouts love Hanowski's hands and deadly scoring ability, but weren't sold on his skating skills which made the St. Cloud State recruit availble for Penguins GM Fred Shero to snatch with the 63rd overall pick.
NHL general managers definitely saw things differently than the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau’s final North American rankings as a handful of players expected to be gone remain undrafted while some lower-ranked players were clearly on the radar of a few GMs.
Players such as Holy Angels forward Danny Mattson, Eden Prairie’s Blake Thompson, Duluth’s Keegan Flaherty, Little Falls’ Jared Festler, and New Prague’s Tyler Lapic never had their name announced in Montreal’s Bell Centre over the course of the weekend.
Although still expected to be selected, a few lower-ranked players such as Edina’s Anders Lee, Nick Jensen of Rogers, Dan Delisle of Arden Hills, and Duluth’s Max Tardy did manage to have their rights secured by NHL clubs on Saturday. In fact, Minnetonka’s Troy Hesketh was not even listed among the CSB’s top 210 North American skaters. Yet the Skippers’ defenseman was scooped up by the Edmonton Oilers with the 10th pick of the third round (71st overall).
Below is a list of Minnesotans selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft accompanied by their overall selection position:
16. Minnesota Wild – Nick Leddy, D, Eden Prairie
22. Vancouver Canucks – Jordan Schroeder, C, Lakeville
41. Nashville Predators - Zach Budish, RW, Edina
63. Pittsburgh - Ben Hanowski, F, Little Falls
67. Florida Panthers - Josh Birkholz, F, Maple Grove
71. Edmonton Oilers - Troy Hesketh, D, Minnetonka
89. Chicago Blackhawks - Daniel Delisle, C, Arden Hills
91. Phoenix Coyotes - Michael Lee, G, Roseau
110. Nashville Predators - Nick Oliver, F, Roseau
114. New Jersey Devils - Seth Helgeson, D, Faribault
150. Detroit Red Wings - Nick Jensen, D, Rogers
152. New York Islanders - Anders Lee, F, Edina
202. St. Louis Blues - Max Tardy, F, Duluth
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