The Minnesota Wild enter the NHL Draft without a first- or second-round pick. That doesn't mean the Wild can't find quality players, though. FOX Sports North lists some finds the Wild acquired with late picks in previous drafts.
2015, Round 5 (No. 135 overall): Kirill Kaprizov
One of the most exciting Wild prospects in recent memory, Kaprizov burst onto the scene last year’s World Junior Championship. A point-per-game player in the KHL, the Russian winger had one of the best U20 seasons in the league’s history last year, registering 42 points in 49 games. There’s been some confusion about Kaprizov’s willingness to leave Russia, but the Wild seem confident that he’ll make the jump once his contract is up in 2018.
2009, Round 7 (No. 182): Erik Haula
Lost to Las Vegas in the expansion draft, Haula was a star at the University of Minnesota before joining the Wild. By his second season in the organization, Haula was already a familiar face in St. Paul. He cracked the Wild’s roster full-time during the 2014-15 season, and scored a career-high 15 goals last season before signing as a restricted free agent with the Golden Knights.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
2011, Round 7 (No. 191): Tyler Graovac
Graovac excited Wild fans after he led the 2014-15 Iowa Wild with 46 points in 73 games. He was finally given a big chance with first-year head coach Bruce Boudreau last season, appearing in 52 games with the Wild. However, his scoring touch seemed to stay in Iowa. Graovac tallied just 10 points and was shipped to the Washington Capitals on June 14 in exchange for a fifth-round pick -- a pick two rounds ahead of where Graovac was selected.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Rempel
2016, Round 7 (No. 196): Dmitry Sokolov
A pure scorer with a power forward’s frame, Sokolov was once considered a first-round pick heading into the 2016 draft. His first season in the OHL raised some red flags however, and Sokolov ultimately fell to the tail end of the draft, where the Wild took a late flyer on him. Sokolov responded nicely after his draft-day snub, finishing second in the OHL with 46 goals before signing with the Wild last spring.
Vaughn RidleyGetty Images
2010, Undrafted: Nate Prosser
After a four-year career at Colorado College in the WCHA, Prosser was signed by the Wild late in the 2009-10 season. Prosser made his NHL debut soon afterwards, recording an assist in a 4-1 loss to the Oilers on April 5, 2010. The Elk River native just wrapped up his eighth year with the Wild organization, tallying seven points in 39 games while giving much-needed depth at the blue line.
NHLI via Getty ImagesBruce Kluckhohn
2006, Undrafted: Niklas Backstrom
Talk about value. Backstrom was signed as an undrafted free agent and developed into arguably the best goaltender in Wild history. After Manny Fernandez suffered an injury in 2006 -- Backstrom’s rookie season -- the Finland native took over and started 41 games, leading the NHL in goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.929). Backstrom finished his career with franchise-bests in games by a goaltender (409), wins (194), shutouts (28), saves (10,321) and even goalie points (5), to go with a 2.48 GAA and .915 save percentage during his 10 years as the Wild’s goaltender.