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Wild select two forwards in first round of NHL Draft

The Wild selected Liam Öhgren, of Sweden, and Russian Danila Yurov with their No. 19 and No. 24 picks, respectively.
Credit: AP
The Minnesota Wild's 24th pick, second from left, Danila Yurov, poses with team officials during the first round of the NHLhockey draft Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

MONTREAL, QC — After addressing defense and goaltending leading up to the NHL Draft, the Minnesota Wild went offense with their two first-round selections.

The Wild selected Liam Öhgren, of Sweden, and Russian Danila Yurov at No. 19 and No. 24, respectively.

Öhgren, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, is 6-foot-1, 201 pounds. While bringing some size, Öhgren can also find the back of the net. The 18-year-old scored 33 goals in 30 games last season while playing junior hockey in Sweden. The Wild posted a short video message Thursday night of Öhgren telling fans, in part, "I'm so excited and pumped up, and I hope to see you soon."

Yurov, who is also 18, had 13 goals and 23 assists last season while playing juniors in Russia.

"Extremely excited to be apart of such a great, strong organization," said Yurov through a translator. "I've seen a lot of videos on YouTube, and such, of the team inside the locker room and I can see it's a really good group of guys. So, I'm very happy and very excited."

After being asked if he's a fan of Wild star Kirill Kaprizov, who is also Russian, Yurov flashed a giant smile while nodding his head and saying, "Yeah."

Yurov was present at the draft as uncertainty surrounds Russian players following reports of Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov being taken to a remote military base in northern Russia because his name was linked to fraudulent military identification.

On Wednesday, Wild GM Bill Guerin discussed the reports and what it could mean for Kaprizov, telling the Associated Press, "he’s in Russia, and he’s doing fine. He’s with his friends and with his family." 

"All I’m trying to do is get information and not jump the gun or push the panic button on anything," Guerin said.

The Wild still have six more picks in this year's draft, including two in the second round (No. 47, No. 56).

Earlier this week, the Wild signed defenseman Jacob Middleton and then inked future Hall of Fame goalie Marc-Andre Fleury just minutes before the start of the draft on Thursday.


Just before the Wild announced Yurov as their pick, the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues selected Jimmy Snuggerud, of Chaska — the first of three local players taken in the first round. Snuggerud, who has committed to play at the University of Minnesota, spent the past two seasons playing with the U.S. National Team Developmental Program.

Two picks later, the Chicago Blackhawks took D Sam Rinzel, who is also from Chaska and has committed to playing at the U of M. The 18-year-old just wrapped up his junior year at Chaska High School where he helped lead the Hawks to a spot in the Section 2AA championship game. The Hawks eventually lost to Prior Lake, but in that season, Rinzel had nine goals and 29 assists.

Hudson, Wisconsin native F Isaac Howard was picked by the Tampa Bay Lightning at No. 31 after spending last year with the U.S. National  U18 Team and the U.S. National Team Developmental Program. The 18-year-old had 33 goals and 82 total points in 60 games while competing on the U18 team. Howard also spent two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary's.

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