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Top 25U25: #9 Where in the world is Bode Wilde?

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Bode Wilde is a fast-skating offensive defenseman with all the tools to succeed, but some attitude issues and his mysterious playing status for next year made him fall in the draft.

2018 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Bode Wilde was selected by the New York Islanders 41st overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. He’s 6’2”, 198 pounds, is a strong skater and has a hard shot. He’s willing to play physically but he’s also a very smart player with good decision making skills. He was projected to be taken mid-first round in the draft. But he fell because of perceived attitude issues after he de-committed from the University of Michigan, where he was set to play college hockey for the 2018-19 season.

The Saginaw Spirit of the OHL currently own his rights, but Wilde isn’t planning on playing there, just for an OHL team in general. As of writing this article, Wilde hasn’t committed to a team yet, or a deal hasn’t been worked out to get him off the Spirit. It’s pretty unclear, and that’s had some on-ice repercussions for Wilde, who wasn’t invited to the World Juniors Summer Showcase for Team USA, despite being one of the top defensemen in the US National Team Development Program. It isn’t a big stretch to say that’s probably why he didn’t make the cut when his future playing situation is so murky. In 25 USHL games with the USNTDP, he had 3 goals and 16 points. In 36 exhibition games, Wilde had 6 goals and 25 points.

Update: We have our answer - Wilde has officially signed with the Spirit.

The big question for Wilde going forward is whether teams passed on him because of character issues and hockey politics, or if there’s something in his play that scouts are hesitant about. His ceiling is a first pairing right-shooting defenseman, but it takes a lot to get there. Will the Islanders also be the right organization for a player like Wilde to thrive under the new regime, given the organization’s past issues with talented players with attitude problems like Josh Ho-Sang? Wilde is another high-end addition to a talented group of defensive prospects for the Islanders organization, and he’ll have plenty of time to develop and reach his ceiling.

Rationales:

Mike B:

Whenever a high-end prospect slides down the draft board, you hope you've lucked into a guy who will prove people wrong... but truth be told, it's more often you get a Kirill Kabanov than a Mike Trout. Wilde has the raw tools... but we'll just have to see.

CIL:

Slipped out of the 1st round due to "character issues." The talent is clearly there. Bode Wilde's ceiling is 1st pairing offensive RD who has size, speed, strength, play making and goal scoring abilities, with a good shot. He'll specialize on the PP which will allow Dobson more time to focus on defense and the PK. Wilde has the ability to skate the puck from one end of the ice to the other. Problem is, Wilde needs to sort out when best to go on the rush and when best to make the safe defensive move. Once he makes the defensive adjustments, the turnovers and getting caught out of position will decrease.

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