Colorado Avalanche: Bode Wilde 2-Way D-Man with Good Size and Offense

PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Bode Wilde #15 of the USA Nationals skates up ice with the puck against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 16, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. USA defeated Russia 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Bode Wilde
PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Bode Wilde #15 of the USA Nationals skates up ice with the puck against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 16, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. USA defeated Russia 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Bode Wilde /

The Colorado Avalanche have the #16 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. They might use that pick on a defenseman such as Bode Wilde.

The Colorado Avalanche have a middling draft pick in the first round this year. That’s a testimony to how well their second year of the full rebuild went. However, it doesn’t make for the most exciting of draft prospects.

That said, the 2018 NHL Draft has some top-end talent. Granted, skaters such as Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov top the list. However, even at #16, there should be a very good player available.

In case you’re wondering, the #16 selection has yielded some decent picks in the last few seasons. Why, one of the first-liners on the new Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. Tom Wilson, went #16 in 2012. Not convinced? One of our own key players, Nikita Zadorov, was selected 16th overall the very next year by the Buffalo Sabres.

Here are the other 16th-overall players from recent drafts:

  • 2014: Sonny Milano (62 games, 14 goals, 9 assists)
  • 2015: Mathew Barzal (84 games, 22 goals, 63 assists)
  • 2016: Jakob Chychrun (118 games, 11 goals, 23 assists)
  • 2017: Juuso Valimaki (currently playing in the WHL)

You can get a good player at #16 in the draft. Let’s see if defenseman Bode Wilde might be one such player.

Bode Wilde

2017-18 Team: US National U-18 Team, USDP
Date of Birth: Jan. 24, 2000 (18 years old)
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 198
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Right

Ranked #23 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #17 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #17 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)

Bode Wilde isn’t the new style of small, puck-moving defensemen. Instead, he’s more of the classic, two-way style. Indeed, Future Considerations calls him a “two-way difference-maker.” The site adds that he’s a “big kid that is also a real solid skater.”

As we know, skating is important to the Colorado Avalanche. Well, Ben Kerr of Last Word on Hockey took the time to observe Wilde’s skating in particular. He observes that Bode pairs “excellent size” with “smooth-skating and two-way ability.” Kerr continues:

"“His speed and footwork allow him to keep attackers in front of him, maintain good gap control and force them to the outside. He also has very good acceleration in both directions. Wilde also shows good edgework and pivots. He transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa.”"

Steve Kournianos of The Draft Analyst calls Bode “a phenomenal skater.”

Elite Prospects praises Bode Wilde’s “balance and acceleration,” calling it “noteworthy.”

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Wilde is known for being a two-way defenseman, which means offense is a part of his game. Here’s what Elite Prospects says of that aspect of his game:

"“Offensively, he showcases a very hard, accurate shot that leaps off his stick. He can also open up space by way of his skating ability, size, and handling of the puck.”"

Ben Kerr also likes what he sees in Wilde’s offensive game, observing that Bode “can really fire the puck” and has “an absolute bomb of a point shot.” Kerr elaborates on Wilde’s offensive game:

"“He can also get it done in a variety of ways with an excellent wrist shot, and strong snapshot. His shots all feature a quick release as well…He is also a very good passer, starting breakouts and making plays at the point as well…He also has the skating and stickhandling skill to rush the puck up the ice.”"

Another aspect of the game that the Avalanche value is hockey smarts. Elite Prospects calls him “smart and competitive” and adds:

"“He reads queues in all three zones naturally and quickly…hanks to his quick thinking in making the high-percentage decision, he can be very difficult to read and play against.”"

Ben Kerr also praises his poise and vision. That said, some scouts do think Bode Wilde is guilty of some poor decision-making.

Wilde is a defenseman, so that aspect of his game must be considered as well. Kerr thinks his defense is “a work in progress.” He adds the following:

"“At times he is a big, physical defender, who controls the game in his own end. However, he is wildly inconsistent. There are other games where he is a complete liability in his own end.”"

Future Considerations sees Bode Wilde in a more flattering light:

"“…uses his big frame to step into opponents and shut them down physically…closes the gap, seals off along the boards and eliminates time and space…not one to go looking for the big hit, but is nasty in the corners and has more than enough strength to knock his opponents and separate them from the puck…employs an active stick and excellent anticipation to disrupt the attack…gets himself into lanes to close them off to the frustration of opposing forwards…”"

Elite Prospects is even more flattering:

"“Defensively, he is a beast and always looks to take time and space away from the opposition. He erases the open lane, keeps opponents to the outside, and is physical along the wall.”"

Bode Wilde has drawn comparisons to Winnipeg Jets strongman, Dustin Byfuglien.

Bode Wilde in action:

Bode Wilde and the Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche certainly prize a player, especially a defenseman, who can play a 200-foot game. With the USNDT Under-18 team last season, Bode Wilde had 12 goals and 29 assists in 61 games, which is very impressive for a d-man. So, he has some offensive ability. He also has the skating that Colorado wants.

That said, Bode Wilde is projected to go mid-first to late-first round, between #12 to #31. While that’s right in the Colorado Avalanche’s picking spot, I’m just not convinced the team will choose a defenseman in the first round. I hesitate to say they’re stacked at the position, but they definitely have more space in the forward corps.

If the Avs do choose Bode Wilde, it certainly wouldn’t be a wasted pick. He’s committed to playing for the University of Michigan next year, which is where J.T. Compher played for three seasons. The school is known for its player development, and a couple of years there could place Wilde in a good position to join a Colorado team in a different position than now defensively.


The 2018 NHL Draft is just a couple weeks away, taking place June 22-23 in Dallas. In addition to the #16-overall, the Colorado Avalanche have an additional seven picks, which includes their second rounder from Nashville.