2015-16 Central Division Preview: Minnesota Wild

2014-15 record: 46-28-10 (100 points)
4th place in the Central Division, 6th place in the Western Conference
Goals For: 231
Goals Against: 201
Power Play: 15.8% (27)
Penalty Kill: 86.3% (1)
Team Faceoff Pct: 49.9% (15)

Key Offseason Moves
2015 Top Draft Pick: Round 1 – Pick 20 – F Joel Eriksson-Ek
Additions: Mike Reilly
Subtractions: Matt Cooke

  • Are the Wild better or worse heading into 2015-16? STATUS QUO

It was a busy summer in Minnesota, but there wasn’t much action with outside free agents. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher had to make sure forwards Mikael Granlund, Nate Prosser, Ryan Carter and Erik Haula, and defenseman Christian Folin got re-signed before looking outside of his organization for help, which he found in collegiate defenseman Mike Reilly.

Because they don’t have much cap space left, the Wild will move forward banking on the team starting the new season as well as they finished last year. They’re still deep on the blue line and developing into a good group of forwards. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter may be a year older, but the team around the two stars now makes the Wild a solid team for the next 3-5 years.

  • Will Minnesota be a playoff team this year? Yes

They didn’t get worse and the teams below them in the division – Colorado, Dallas and Winnipeg – likely haven’t done enough to push them out of the postseason picture. They’ll need to stay healthy, but this is a good team.

7 thoughts on “2015-16 Central Division Preview: Minnesota Wild

  • September 3, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I expect Dubnyk’s performance to fall off. He looked so average in the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this team struggles a bit.

  • September 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I picked the Wild to beat the Hawks in the 2nd round, clearly I was wrong and an idiot. I thought this Wild team turned a corner and it hadn’t. This team as a lot of players I like and they should be better, but whatever reason they aren’t. Outside of Praise they lack true playmakers in their top 6 for starters. They also lack that 2nd defensive stud that is needed in the playoffs. Maybe Reilly eventually is that guy?

    I can’t imagine Dubnyk maintaining that same level of play all season. I still think of him at the guy that looked horrible in Edm, and Phx. The NHL has been littered with one hit wonder goalies

    I’m not sure if this team doesn’t regress to the team that almost got Yeo fired as opposed to the world beaters before the playoffs started. I think they miss the playoffs and get Yeo fired.

  • September 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    SSHM- my thoughts exactly… Parise was only guy who really showed versus Hawks in top 6… I think- they might be really frustrated – that the Hawks – once again owned them- when it counted most!!!

    Dano- I really think he has a lot of Parise type traits/skills/ and is actually stronger than Parise… these are all good things and it bodes well for Hawks… Dano is to Parise like Saad was to Hossa??? I will take that all day long.

  • September 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Read on another blog… someone saw a guy wearing a Ref/striped shirt with #88 on it and Kane on back!!! that is pretty funny… wish I would of thought of it.

    I wonder if this is what SB meant when he said that he has options for Cap this year…

    Kane gets ltir/suspended… Hawks have Cap savings… they Buy another stud while Kane is in rehab… Kane comes back… and Hawks dodge the cap again to win Cup!!!!

    Brilliant-SB- Brilliant!!!

  • September 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Sergei- I think I know your Sister… Ivonna Kutyourkockoff

  • September 4, 2015 at 4:45 am

    I see them in the risky position of having a negative year. I see them not making the playoffs this year. The only element that makes me doubt this feeling is Jason Zucker. He might have a huge year and that would almost assure a playoff spot for the Wild as he’s an energizer, dynamic skater. He’d steal them enough points to get in.
    A bad, average year for him means no playoffs for the Wild in my mind.

    PS:I see the Avs and Stars above the Jets and Wild. They have more talent, but less drive in general. That ‘drive’ element could balance itself this year with them not making the playoffs last year and the Jets-Wild maybe over saturated with their mentally tiering styles.

  • September 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Another enigma team. Their veteran forwards (Vanek, Koivu, Pominville, Stewart) don’t show up consistently (except Parise who doesn’t ever not show up – I love that guy). Their young forwards (Granlund, Coyle, Zucker, Niederreitter) don’t either. Their d-corps is pretty good, but will Dubnyk be the regular season savior or the very average guy he was in the playoffs?

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