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Ben Hanowski

Ben Hanowski

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MONTREAL — Edina's Zach Budish, who missed all of last hockey season because of a knee injury, was picked in the second round of the NHL entry draft this morning by the Nashville Predators.The Minnesota Wild had Budish ranked high and hoped to move into the second round to nab him, but they had to settle for using their third-round pick (77th overall) on Matt Hackett, the top-rated North American goaltender in the draft.Hackett, 19, was 34-15-3 with a 3.03 goals-against average and .913 save percentage for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

He is the nephew of Jeff Hackett, a 15-year goaltender with six NHL teams."He's basically made me the goalie I am today," Matt said.

"When I was 9 or 10, starting to be a goalie, he would take me out on the ice with all the NHLers from around town — Steve Rucchin, Jeff Carter, Andy McDonald."It was fun.

I got in the hand and it would kill; I felt like I broke my hand.

But it was fun.

I mean having those guys come down on you at full speed really prepared me for the season.

I loved it."Defending champion Pittsburgh selected Minnesota's all-time scoring leader Ben Hanowski of Little Falls with the second pick of the third round, 63rd overall.

He scored an incredible 73 goals and 135 points as a senior and broke the state's record with 405 career points."It's kind of hard to describe what's going through my mind right now," said Hanowski, who has Advertisementcommitted to play next season at St.

Cloud State.Budish is headed to the University of Minnesota, where he will room with the Wild's first-round pick, defenseman Nick Leddy.

Had Budish not torn a ligament in his knee playing football for the Hornets last fall, he likely would have been a first-round pick."I feel fine.

Not a hundred percent yet, but I'm getting there,â said Budish.

â I feel like I've been doing by rehab well and will continue to do so and be ready to play for the U of M in the fall."Budish is one of three Gophers selected in the first 40 picks here in Montreal, joining first-rounders Nick Leddy (Wild) and Jordan Schroeder (Canucks).

He'll room with Leddy in the fall.If he had to do it again, Budish said, he would have stayed off the gridiron last fall."But I enjoyed playing football.

It was a decision I made and I have to live with the consequences," he said.

"But hockey's No.

1 and will continue to be."Hanowski, the state's top-scoring player at Little Falls High School, was taken by defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh with the second pick in the third round, 63rd overall.
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