Minnesota was 12th in the league in goals-for-per game last season, and 6th in the league in goals-against-per game. With aging superstars like Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu, it can't hurt to add a two-way winger who gives huge effort and heart every time he steps on the ice. The Wild's farm system is ranked 25th in the league by hockeysfuture.com, which notes a lack of elite talent and top-6 forwards in the system. The Wild need help, and that means its time to go East, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to find the first piece to putting the organization back on a path to the future.
With the 20th pick in the Litter Box Cats Mock Draft, The Minnesota Wild select:
Colin White - RW/C U.S. National Team Development program
Colin White is a 6'0, 183 lb. right handed shooting Right Wing/Center from Hanover, Massachusetts who will play for known player development factory Boston College in Hockey East next season. In 54 games for the U.S. National U18 team last season, he put up 23 goals and 31 assists (54 points) along with 28 penalty minutes. Internationally, he played for Team USA in 20 games, putting up 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists). Hockeysfuture.com provided this description of his play at the Worlds:
White’s true colors were put on display at the 2015 U18 World Championship, where he knocked in the game-winning goal in overtime to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory over upstart Finland. It was his sixth goal and ninth point of the tournament, in which he pivoted the team’s second line and put up a +8 in the process.
Hockeysfuture.com added this about the young New Englander:
A hustler who is ready to go through the wall for his team, Colin White is a player who somehow looks and plays as if he were three inches taller and 25 pounds heavier. A complete, two-way forward who wears his heart on his sleeve
Future Considerations scouting report on White:
Strong, well-rounded, two-way center…one of the best skaters for this draft…great speed with an excellent stride and tremendous acceleration…moves quickly and is tough to handle when he hits top speed…has great strength on his skates and is tough to separate from the puck…battles hard for possession…drives the net and is strong in close…can beat a goalie in many ways…has a great shot and also distributes the puck well…a very hard worker with an edge to his game…great on defense with a great defensive stick and strong defensive-zone awareness…always in the right spots on the ice and he is a tremendous worker.
Bill Placzek of draftsite.com:
Possesses average size, but high end skills and smarts. Opportunistic scorer who can make plays at high speed with some edge. Moves well laterally, and has a quick stick to control loose pucks, and cause turnovers. Anticipates the pass and needs little time to unload his big-time shot. Possesses a quick release and superb accurancy with his shots. Top player on US Under-17 Team in the past. A solid forechecker and responsible two-way centre. Pressures the opposition and steals pucks that he quickly turns into scoring opportunities. Very strong on the puck because of his solid skating and balance. Projects as a NHL point producer. Committed to Boston College.
The only issue remaining is how Boston College Eagle White would react to playing in front of thousands of Gopher fans, or in the alternative, how fast Gopher fans can put aside their committed hatred of all things Hockey East and embrace this special player!
Check out White in action: