Minnesota boasts one of the deepest teams of centermen in the NHL. Eric Staal, Granlund, and MIkko Koivu return again this year, all of whom put up solid numbers in 2016-2017. Koivu finished with the least points of the three at 58, while Staal finished first on the team in goals with 28 and second in points with 65. The fourth line center position is likely to be filled by Joel Eriksson Ek, the team’s first-round pick from 2015. Eriksson Ek played 15 games for the team last season after being recalled from Farjestad BK in the Swedish Elite League, where he scored 16 points in 26 games.
The Minnesota Wild’s biggest loss on offense this summer came when the team traded Jason Pominville to the Buffalo Sabres. Pominiville was traded along with defenseman Marco Scandella, back to the team that drafted him in 2001, for Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno, and a pick. Last season Pominiville finished sixth on the team in scoring, posting 13 goals and 34 assists for 47 points. The biggest problem with Tyler Ennis has been his health. Last season Ennis missed 30 games to a groin injury, and in the 2015-2016 season he missed 45 games to an upper body injury. When healthy in the years prior, Ennis has shown skill and creativity and if he can stay healthy he should be a good addition to the offense.
Jonas Brodin and Mathew Dumba are also expected to be key contributors from the backend. The two young blueliners have developed steadily thus far in their careers and look to be on trajectory to take on even larger roles this season.
Minnesota Wild 2017-2018 Season Preview: Overall Outlook
The Minnesota Wild look poised to have another impressive season. They have all the makings of a great playoff caliber team including a deep roster of centermen and defensemen, as well as elite goaltending. Many top contributors such as Coyle and Niederreiter are still nearing their prime and can be expected to increase their production from a year ago. The team looks deep on defense and has a top netminder in Dubnyk. Look for the Wild to finish near the top of the Central Division in the 207-2018 season.
- Minnesota features a balanced offense that does not rely too much on one player. The team is deep at center and offense can come from a range of individuals.
- On Defense, the team is looking solid with Suter, Spurgeon, Dumba, and Brodin anchoring the backend
- The Wild have elite goaltending in Devan Dubnyk, who has been stellar while playing in Land of 10,000 Lakes.