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NHL Draft: Day 2

By Star Tribune and Hockey Hub staff, 06/25/11, 3:00PM CDT


Videos, recap from Saturday's rounds at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul

Minnesotans Selected in the 2011 NHL Draft

Name High School Pos. Rd. Pick Team Comment
Mario Lucia Wayzata LW 2 60 Minnesota Wild trade up to take homegrown talent
Steven Fogarty Edina C 3 72 New York Rangers Rangers make moves to get hard worker with great hands
Andy Welinski* Duluth East D 3 83 Anaheim Ducks restock blue line with strong skater
Kyle Rau Eden Prairie C 3 91 Florida Panthers have selected Mr. Hockey winner in back-to-back years, get proven winner in Rau
Mike Reilly* Holy Angels D 4 98 Columbus Blue Jackets add defenseman with excellent vision
Joseph LaBate Holy Angels C 4 101 Vancouver Canucks get center with size, scoring touch
Seth Ambroz New Prague RW 5 128 Columbus Former New Prague Trojan, Ambroz finally picked
Tony Cameranesi Wayzata C 5 130 Toronto Maple Leafs add quick skater with great vision
Nick Seeler Eden Prairie D 5 131 Minnesota Wild draft another local, tough defenseman with hard shot
Eddie Wittchow Burnsville D 6 154 Florida Panthers take physical defenseman, add another Minnesotan
Josh Archibald Brainerd W 6 174 Pittsburgh 2011 Mr. Hockey finalist heads to Penguins
Travis Boyd* Hopkins C 6 177 Washington Played for Hopkins as a freshman
Adam Wilcox* South St. Paul G 6 178 Tampa Bay Wilcox only Minnesotan goalie taken
Patrick Daly Benilde-St. Margaret's D 7 189 New Jersey Devils stock up on strong defensemen
Max Everson Edina D 7 203 Toronto Maple Leafs' late-round pick may be a steal

* Denotes did not play at the high school level through senior season

Official press conferences with drafted Minnesotans

Mario Lucia (Wayzata)

 Selected 60th overall by the Minnesota Wild

Steven Fogarty (Edina)

Selected 72nd overall by the New York Rangers

Kyle Rau (Eden Prairie)

Selected 91st overall by the Florida Panthers

Tony Cameranesi (Wayzata)

Selected 130th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs

Nick Seeler (Eden Prairie)

Selected 131st overall by the Minnesota Wild

Eddie Wittchow (Burnsville)

Selected 154th overall by the Florida Panthers

Patrick Daly (Benilde-St. Margaret's)

Selected 189th overall by the New Jersey Devils

Max Everson (Edina)

Selected 203rd overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs

As the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul drew to a close, the unthinkable began to take shape.

For a moment, it seemed as though there would be no Minnesotan-born player taken within the first two rounds of the NHL Draft since 2001.

Leave it to the hometown team to take care of its own.

In a well-received move, Minnesota swooped in at the nick of time and traded up to snag Wayzata High School forward Mario Lucia with the 60th overall pick and second-to-last draft choice in the second round.

"It's an honor," Lucia said. "You couldn't have written a better story than this."

The Wild's pick opened the door as Minnesotans started to be drafted in bunches.

A total of 15 Minnesotans would be taken within the six total rounds during the second day of the draft -- 10 of them were straight out of high school.

Steven Fogarty of Edina (drafted 72nd overall by the New York Rangers) and Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau (drafted 91st overall by the Florida Panthers) were the next Minnesota high schoolers off the board as they were taken in the third round.

"To tell you the truth, I just wanted to go at any point," Fogarty said when asked what round he thought he would be picked.

Rau will join one of his "good friends" and fellow Mr. Hockey Award winner Nick Bjugstad with the Panthers. The two will also be playing together at the University of Minnesota.

Including Fogarty and eventual winner Rau, seven of the ten 2011 Mr. Hockey Award finalists were chosen in the draft -- Joseph LaBate (Holy Angels, 101st overall by

Vancouver), Tony Cameranesi (Wayzata, 130th overall by Toronto), Josh Archibald (Brainerd, 174th overall by Pittsburgh), Patrick Daly (Benilde-St. Margaret's, 189th overall by New Jersey) and Max Everson (Edina, 203rd overall by Toronto).

Defensemen Nick Seeler (Eden Prairie, 131st overall by Minnesota) and Eddie Wittchow (Burnsville, 154th overall by Florida) were also four-year Minnesota high school players taken in the later rounds.

Regardless of the round or team, each Minnesotan picked seemed to have the same post-draft reaction.

"It's incredible. Words can't describe," Seeler said.

-- Michael Murakami, Hockey Hub staff

Wild keeping it local

It's becoming increasingly evident that the Wild is focusing more on scouting the local high schools and colleges.

In April, the Wild signed Minnesota Duluth's Justin Fontaine and North Dakota's Chay Genoway. Saturday, the Wild traded its third- and fourth-round picks to select Wayzata's Mario Lucia with the 60th overall pick, then used its fifth-round pick to take Eden Prairie's Nick Seeler at 131.

"On other teams I've worked on, it's hard to spend enough time, especially at the high school level," assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. "For us, we have a number of [scouts] here that know the guys inside and out. That helps a lot."

Seeler, 18, a defenseman who won a state championship with the Eagles, was overjoyed. "To get my name called, just to start the journey, is a great feeling," he said. "I couldn't have asked for any more, especially getting picked by your hometown [team], it's an incredible feeling growing up and going to the games and wanting to be a Wild player one day.

"Now I have an opportunity to be one."

Seeler, who will play in Muskegon of the United States Hockey League in the fall before eventually going to Nebraska-Omaha, calls himself an offensive defenseman with a "nasty disposition." One sister, Ashley, played soccer for the Gophers; another sister, Kelly, currently plays hockey there.

Flahr said the Wild brought Seeler to St. Paul last week to "remeasure" him and found he grew almost three inches since Central Scouting's original height to nearly 6-2.

-- Star Tribune staff reports

Wild Draft History

Until the second day of the 2011 draft on Saturday, the Wild had only taken six Minnesotans in the previous 11 NHL drafts.

But on Saturday, they took forward Mario Lucia of Wayzata High School with the 60th overall pick in the second round and defenseman Nick Seeler of Eden Prairie High School with the 131st pick in the fifth round.

Here are the other Minnesotans the Wild have picked:

2009 D Nick Leddy Eden Prairie 1 16
2006 D Kyel Medvec Apple Valley 4 102
2006 C Chris Hickey Cretin-Derham Hall 7 192
2004 D A.J. Thelen Michigan State 1 12
2002 F Mike Erickson Minnesota 3 72
2001 F Jake Riddle Seattle (WHL) 8 239

– Roman Augustoviz, Star Tribune

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