Towering defenseman Bode Wilde has — through various media outlets — declared his intention to play in the Ontario Hockey League come the 2018-2019 season. But as of this date, Wilde has yet to sign with the OHL team that drafted him in 2016.
Wilde, who has a 2000 birth date, was selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the second round of the 2016 OHL priority selections draft. But he instead opted to spend the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Since being drafted to the OHL by Saginaw and playing for the USNTDP, Wilde also had a commitment to head to the University of Michigan and play at the National Collegiate Athletic Association level for the Wolverines.
But before being picked by the New York Islanders in the second round, 41st overall, at the 2018 National Hockey League draft, Wilde announced that he would not be going to Michigan to play at the college level after all.
Whether Wilde de-committed to Michigan or the school de-committed to him has not been declared as a statement of fact either way.
Reports on Wilde are that he is a big, strong kid with a right-hand shot that can find its way to the net in a hurry and that he has the potential to be an impact defenseman at the OHL level.
On the flip side, Wilde was projected to be a first round pick at this year’s NHL draft but instead, he fell well into the second round and a whopping 18 defensemen were selected before him.
As an example, Detroit Red Wings — who are in the back yard of the USNTDP where Wilde has honed his game — passed on the big defenseman four times at this year’s NHL draft. That’s right, the Red Wings picked twice in first round and twice more in the second before the Islanders finally took a walk on the Wilde side.
At any rate, it is expected that Wilde will, some time soon, either sign with Saginaw or ask the Spirit to trade his rights to another OHL team.
But what is the holdup?
One might wonder if Wilde and/or his agent are either playing hard to get or that one or both of them holds an over-inflated view of how good the youngster is.
I would think that both parties — Saginaw and the Wilde camp — would like to know where the defenseman is going to be playing in 2018-2019, sooner rather than later.
From what I know — and Saginaw general manager Dave Drinkill has shed absolutely no light on the situation — the Spirit wants to sign Wilde rather than trade him.
But what is not known is what is happening behind the scenes on the Wilde side.
PHOTO: Bode Wilde.