Depth Charts 1: Minnesota Wild

For all of the distress we, the blog intelligentsia, endured last season, I must admit: It wasn’t ALL bad. The Flames made the playoffs in the seventh position, made a go of it in the first round, and offered the occasional entertaining couple of hours watching games. This despite Anders Eriksson, Mark Smith, Eric Godard, Anders Eriksson and Anders Eriksson. Oh, plus the hiring of Mike Keenan, signing of Curtis Joseph, denigration of Alex Tanguay (how you like THAT one, Terry — see comments on previous post for explanation) and any number of other items long complained about our tight little community of HOT blogs.

So, while acknowledging that we’re still a couple of months away from any actual action, I thought: Perhaps it’s not as bad as we think. So, why not put together a bunch of Duncan approved, Northwest Division “depth charts” to see where we stand. Here’s what I’m going to assemble: 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goalies from each NW division teams, in the order of finish from last season. Good times.

I’ll do one a day for the next five days. Please disagree with me in the comments, or point out players I’m forgetting, or who you think will make any of these teams out of camp.

MINNESOTA WILD (07/08: 44-28-10, 98 pts)
Forwards
1. Marian Gaborik
2. Mikko Koivu
3. Pierre-Marc Bouchard
4. Andrew Brunette
5. Antti Miettinen
6. Stephane Veilleux
7. Owen Nolan
8. Eric Belanger
9. Benoit Pouliot
10. Craig Weller
11. Jesse Schultz
12. Derek Boogaard
13. James Sheppard
DIVISION RANK: 4. Analysis: I love that Top 4, but it’s injury-prone and that’s a steep dropoff that follows.

Defencemen
1. Brent Burns
2. Kim Johnsson
3. Nick Schultz
4. Marek Zidlicky
5. Martin Skoula
6. Kurtis Foster
7. Erik Reitz
DIVISION RANK: 2. Analysis: Quietly an extremely enviable group. Zidlicky should be a nice addition, Brent Burns became an elite guy last year, and the only question comes in the No. 6 spot, with Foster returning from that horrific injury at the end of last year.

Goaltenders
1. Nicklas Backstrom
2. Josh Harding
DIVISION RANK: 3. I have no complaints at all about Backstrom, and Harding’s probably the best backup in the division. Only No. 3 because they’re in a division with Luongo and Kiprusoff.

Tomorrow: Colorado Avalanche

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~ by duncan on August 8, 2008.

6 Responses to “Depth Charts 1: Minnesota Wild”

  1. I don’t think the Wild are going to miss Demitra and Rolston as conventional wisdom might dictate. I think their special teams will stay strong with Brunette and Miettenen, and I think they’ll repeat as div. champs

  2. […] Previous Charts Minnesota Wild […]

  3. CJ — I’m going to do an entry when these are over guessing how the division will play out, and my gut is to agree with you. I think they WILL miss Rolston, in fact I think any team would miss Rolston. But there’s still a lot to like there.

  4. I think it will be interesting to see how the Wild deal with the loss of Rolston. He basically played in every single situation and provided a ton of offense but also good two way play for them. But if the young guys (Gaborik, Koivu, Bouchard on offense, Burns, Schultz on defense, etc.) can keep up their development, the Wild have a very strong, young core that they are building on.

    Of course, depending on how Gaborik’s groin holds up, the offense could fall off a cliff, too.

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