Blackhawks

Wild agree to terms with Bruce Boudreau as next head coach

Wild agree to terms with Bruce Boudreau as next head coach

The Minnesota Wild announced Saturday that they have agreed to terms with Bruce Boudreau as their next head coach.

The deal is expected to be four years worth slightly under $3 million per season, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. Boudreau will be introduced during a news conference on Tuesday.

Despite coaching the Ducks to four consecutive division titles and a 208-104-40 record in the regular season during his tenure, Boudreau was fired after their first-round exit against the Nashville Predators.

It was the fourth straight year the Ducks had blown a 3-2 series lead and lost a Game 7 at home, forcing general manager Bryan Murray to go in a different direction.

The Wild are looking to do the same, and Boudreau was no doubt the best coach on the market. 

After missing the playoffs for four straight years from 2009-2012, the Wild have clinched a spot in the postseason the past four seasons, but haven't won more than a round in any of them.

The Wild elected to fire Mike Yeo mid-season after the season began to get away from them, and named former Blackhawks assistant coach John Torchetti as interim coach, but that label was officially removed at the end of the season.

Boudreau gives the Wild an experienced coach with an accomplished resume — he became the quickest coach in the National Hockey League history to win 400 games.

A new voice could benefit the Wild, and a change of scenery could do the same for Boudreau.

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Brady Tkachuk

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"

NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds

Fit for Blackhawks:

If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.

He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.

If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.