Filip Johansson is WIlds top pick

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Wild say Swedish teen was their smart first-round choice in the NHL Draft

Totino-Grace standout Sam Hentges among Wild's selections

June 23, 2018 - 6:58 am
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The Wild added a defenseman in the first round of the NHL Draft Friday, taking 18-year-old Filip Johansson with the 24th pick in the draft's first round.

Johansson is looking to improve his game playing in his home country before competing for a spot on the Wild's roster.

"I need to build strength and all that.," said Johansson, wearing a Wild jersey and hat following his selection at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

"I think it can take a little bit of time."

He figures to play up to two more years in Sweden and then put in time in the American Hockey League.

Members of the Wild's new administration, hockey operations chief Brent Flahr and general manage Paul Felton, both used the word "smart" when describing the way Johansson plays.
 
Johansson played for Sweden in the World Juniors last winter, helping the team to third place and the bronze medal.

He has played one year of professional hockey with Leksands IF in Sweden's second-tier league.

The first round of the NHL Draft was completed Friday night, with rounds two-through-seven wrapping up on Saturday.

Here are the rest of the Wild's selections:

Round 3, pick 63, Jack McBain, forward; Toronto, Ont.
Round 3, pick 86, Alexander Khovanoc, center; Saratov, Russia.
Round 3, pick 92, Connor Dewar, center; Gilbert Plains, Man.
Round 5, pick 148, Simon Johansson, defense; Stockholm, Sweden.
Round 5, pick 155, Damien Giroux, center; Sudbury, Ont.
Round 6, pick 179, Shawn Boudrias, wing; Laval, Que.
Round 7, pick 210, Sam Hentges, center, Fridley, Min.

The only Minnesotan chosen by the Wild, Hentges played prep hockey at Totino-Grace and is planning to play college hockey at St. Cloud State.

The Buffalo Sabres selected defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the first overall pick in the NHL draft, giving them a dynamic player who should spark their rebuilding process.

Dahlin is the second Swedish player to be taken No. 1 and the first since Mats Sundin in 1989. The smooth-skating playmaker has been considered the consensus first pick for more than a year.

After putting on a Sabres jersey Friday night, the 18-year-old will jump to the NHL right away and should help the club's league-worst offense that contributed to its last-place finish. 

He had six assists in seven games at the world junior championships in Buffalo and put up 20 points in 41 games in Sweden's top pro league this season.

The first Minnesotan picked in the draft is K’Andre Miller of Hopkins, taken 22nd overall by the New York Rangers. Miller played high school hockey at Minnetonka before putting in one year with the US National Developmental team

Miller is signed to play college hockey at Wisconsin.

The Associated Press provided content for this article