Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Minnesota Wild 2018-19 season preview



           After reaching the playoffs for a sixth straight season, GM Chuck Fletcher was booted, changing the way the Minnesota Wild run. But, the Wild didn't make any significant moves, nothing even close to trading away Marco Scandella for Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno last offseason. Let's look at some fast facts for the Minnesota Wild.

Head Coach: Bruce Boudreau
General Manager: Paul Fenton
Arena: Xcel Energy Center
AHL Affiliate: Iowa Wild
2017-18 record: 45-26-11 (101 points)
2017-18 placement: 3rd
Division: Central
2017-18 goals leader: Eric Staal (42)
2017-18 assists leader: Mikael Granlund (46)
2017-18 points leader: Eric Staal (76)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): Ryan Suter (51)
Captain: Mikko Koivu
Assistant Captains: Ryan Suter, Zach Parise
2018 first round pick: Filip Johansson

Offseason additions: JT Brown, Greg Pateryn, Eric Fehr, Matt Hendricks, Andrew Hammond, Matt Read, Matt Barkowski

Offseason subtractions: Tyler Ennis, Daniel Winnik, Matt Cullen, Kyle Quincey

Forwards: Eric Staal's rejuvenation was key for the Wild. Mikael Granlund had another great year. Jason Zucker's 33 goals surprised many. Unfortunately, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise were hurt and disappointed. Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin are three young players ready to play. Though, Kunin tore his ACL and is questionable for the start of the season, thus is why he isn't in the lines below.


Forward lines:

Zach Parise - Eric Staal - Jason Zucker
Nino Niederreiter - Mikko Koivu - Mikael Granlund
Jordan Greenway - Charlie Coyle - Joel Eriksson Ek
Marcus Foligno - Eric Fehr - JT Brown
Other: Matt Hendricks, Kyle Rau, Matt Read
Injured: Luke Kunin

Defensman: Ryan Suter: Ryan Suter is aging, but still playing half the game. Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba are still good top-4 defenseman, and all are in their prime, with Dumba and Brodin under 25, and Spurgeon at 28 years of age. Nick Seeler is a young, psychical defenseman coming up. Greg Pateryn will be his partner.

Defensive pairs:

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin - Matt Dumba
Nick Seeler - Greg Pateryn
Other: Nate Prosser

Goalies: Devan Dubnyk isn't as good as he used to be, but is still a good starter. Alex Stalock is a serviceable backup, and Andrew Hammond was once great, but now just a third goalie.


Goalie alignment:

Devan Dubnyk
Alex Stalock
Other: Andrew Hammond

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Mikael Granlund
Eric Staal
Nino Niederreiter
Jason Zucker
Ryan Suter

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 4th
I think the Minnesota Wild will once again, be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

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