ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -The Minnesota Wild relinquished their rights to 2004 first-round pick A.J. Thelen on Friday after failing to sign him.
The Wild chose the 6-foot-3 defenseman from Savage with the 12th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He was coming off a stellar freshman season at Michigan State, where he was a second-team All-American.
But Thelen ran into trouble at the school and was kicked off the hockey team after being caught drinking underage.
He spent the next two years in Canada's Western Hockey League, where he helped the Vancouver Giants win the Memorial Cup.
The Wild had until Friday to sign him to a deal or forfeit his rights. The Wild will receive the 42nd overall pick in July's draft as compensation.
The Wild also failed to get deals done with two 2005 draft picks - third-round goaltender Kristofer Westblom and fourth-round center Kyle Bailey.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail 2018 Stanley Cup Finals Odds Following back-to-back titles, are the Penguins favored to repeat as 2018 Stanley Cup champions as well?
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Predators Game 6 Pick Can the Pittsburgh Penguins claim the Stanley Cup tonight when they go on the road to face the Nashville Predators in Game 6...
Thumbnail Predators vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick Which team will take the crucial Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Nashville Predators tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Finals Game 4 Pick Can the Nashville Predators even up the Stanley Cup Finals when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Pick With the series on the move, can the Nashville Predators get on the board in the Stanley Cup Final when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3...

NHL Team Pages