Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/22/12
ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild had a surprise forward prospect available to them with the No. 7 pick in Friday's NHL draft but decided to add more defensive depth to their growing list of top prospects.Minnesota picked Mathew Dumba, who had 20 goals and 37 assists last season for Red Deer in the Western Hockey League. Dumba, who turns 18 in July, is a 6-foot, 183-pound defenseman, who is said to play an all-around game and can add a big shot to the Wild's blue line.In somewhat of a surprising turn of events, Swedish forward Filip Forsberg was still available when Minnesota was on the clock. Forsberg was rated as the top European skater on the NHL Central Scouting Service's final rankings. Dumba, the fifth defenseman taking in the top seven picks, was the 11th ranked North American skater in the rankings.Dumba was the captain of Team Canada during the 2012 U-18 World Championships and led the tournament in scoring with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) as Canada won the bronze medal. He led all defenseman in last season in the WHL.The seventh pick was the highest selection by Minnesota since picking Benoit Pouliot with the fourth pick in 2005 and the fourth highest selection in franchise history.The Wild have a stable of young forwards on the cusp of making the NHL roster, possibly as soon as this season, with Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Brett Bulmer, Jason Zucker, Johan Larsson, and Zack Phillips.Much of the team's young defenseman are already on the NHL roster, including Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, Clayton Stoner, Nate Prosser and Steven Kampfer. Jonas Brodin, selected with the No. 10 overall pick in last year's draft, is the only defenseman ranked among Minnesota's top prospects. Brodin is already signed to a pro contract and could make his way to the NHL this season after playing last year in Sweden. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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