SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Wild selected center Joel Eriksson Ek (Joel is pronounced Youl) with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft tonight at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
“Joel is a big, strong, two-way center that can really shoot the puck,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “He’s a character kid with a quality work ethic and has been a leader at every level he’s played at.”
Eriksson Ek, 18 (1/29/97), recorded six points (4-2=6) in 34 games with Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League and tallied 32 points (21-11=32) in 25 games with Farjestad’s Junior team in 2014-15. His six points were the most by any under-18 eligible player and his 21 goals led the Under-20 league. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound native of Karlstad, Sweden, notched six points (5-1=6) in five games for Sweden at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship. He led his country in goals and ranked tied for first in scoring. Eriksson Ek also represented Sweden at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He tallied 40 points (22-18=40) in 33 games with Farjestad’s Under-18 Team and four points (2-2=4) in 13 games with Farjestad’s Junior Team in 2013-14.
NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, on Eriksson Ek: “He is a very competitive, powerful center with great speed, a good strong shot and excellent puck-handling. He is creative on the offense while reliable on defense. Likes to go to the net to create scoring chances.”
The Wild currently owns five picks in rounds 2-7 of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft which starts Saturday at 9 a.m. CT on the NHL Network: #50 in the 2nd round, #111 in the 4th round, #171 in the 6th round, and #201 and #204 in the 7th round.