With Paul Fenton‘s final draft pick as general manager of the Minnesota Wild, he selected forward Matt Boldy 12th overall this past June from the U.S. National Development team. The pick was notable in that Fenton passed on scoring winger Cole Caufield who fell to number 15 to the Montreal Canadiens.
Despite the criticism of the pick, the Wild still got a very talented forward.
Last season with the United States National Development Program, Boldy scored 33 goals and 48 assists. He will be attending Boston College this upcoming season in the NCAA.
In Boldy, the Wild are getting a big forward — a power forward perhaps — that possesses great offensive skills. Perhaps the most notable quality in Boldy’s game is his shot, which has been highly regarded by draft experts.
Corey Pronman of The Athletic called it “a quality shot.” McKeens Hockey draft guide said Boldy’s was the best in the draft and that his wrist shot is second to none. Accuracy needed some work, but the power and release are incredible.
Boldy also has great playmaking abilities — which can be seen in the highlights above — but his bread and butter appear to be his shot. And the Wild — whether it is the 2019-20 or 2022-23 season — need a player who can come in with a great shot.
Pronman — a highly regarded prospect analyst — had kind things to say about Boldy and said he could even come in ahead of Kirill Kaprizov in the Wild prospect charts. McKeens said he could be a 30-plus goal scorer and potential All-Star in the league. Even Boldy’s US Development team coach John Wroblewski said he was a steal for the Wild and had the potential to go higher in this past draft.
However, the knock on Boldy appears to be his compete level, which the Wild hope to have ironed out before he hits the NHL. There were times this past season where his play was not up to par simply from a competitive standpoint, but once he amped it up he brought a different element to the games he was playing in.
Boldy was a home run swing by Fenton this past June. At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Boldy represents a hope for the organization as a scoring forward that they are so badly lacking. With Fenton now out of the picture, the Wild certainly hope this pick does end up being a home run even though Fenton’s tenure was anything but.
Minnesota will be watching Boldy’s progression very closely this season. With the roster attempting to transition to a younger team, Boldy figures to be in the mix in the next two years if he continues on his upward trajectory at Boston College.
Boldy has the skills. It’s now just about putting it all together so the Wild can benefit from them.