Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/30/13
The wait was long, but the Minnesota Wild finally made their first pick in the NHL Draft on Sunday, taking big defenseman Gustav Olofsson with the No. 46 overall pick. Oloffson is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and was ranked No. 51 overall among North American skaters in the final draft rankings by the NHL's Central Scouting Combine. Olofsson, 18, is Swedish, but played last season with the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League. A left-handed shooting defenseman, Olofsson had two goals and 21 assists with 59 penalty minutes in 63 games for Green Bay last season. "Gustav is a big mobile defenseman that really jumped up our draft rankings." Minnesota assistant general manager Brent Flahr said after the second round. "He's an intelligent player with quality natural instincts for the game. We feel like his game will continue to improve as he gets stronger and gains experience." The No. 46 pick was the first in the draft for the Wild, who traded their first-round selection to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the trade last season at the trade deadline to acquire veteran forward Jason Pominville. Buffalo selected Russian defenseman Nikita Zadorov with the No. 16 pick it received from Minnesota. The Wild owns the No. 81 pick in the third round, along with five more picks in the seven-round draft on Sunday. Minnesota sent a second third-round pick, No. 70 overall, to the New York Islanders in a trade that included Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck going to New York for Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter, a No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter
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