Central, Western Conference
2015 Record: 46-28-8
Projected Finish: 1st in Central, 2nd in Western Conference
Head Coach: Mike Yeo
Key Additions: Mike Reilly (Columbus),
Key Losses: Kyle Brodziak (St. Louis), Chris Stewart (Anaheim)
Playoff Prediction: Lose in Stanley Cup to Montreal, 4-2
Zach Parise – LW
Ever since returning to Minnesota, Parise has always been the most important member of the Wild lineup. Mikko Koivu may be the captain, but the hometown kid Parise is going to be the game changer this season. He’s now had a couple of years to settle in with Mike Yeo and company and this is the year it needs to all come together.
Parise has battled injuries and other ailments off the ice that plagued him, but a healthy year from Parise would be magical for the Wild. He’s a leader, he’s the lifeblood of the team whenever he’s on the ice and he’s someone who just makes everyone around him that much better.
Best Case Scenario
Minnesota has the pieces to win the Stanley Cup — there’s a reason they’re the dark horse pick for some analysts. From top notch stars like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu to young talent like Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon and Nino Niederreiter, Minnesota is loaded with top level talent.
It all comes down to whether or not Mike Yeo can bring it all together and the team can find consistent goal tending if Devin Dubnyk can continue to be a stud for the Wild, or if someone else steps up like Darcy Kemper, Minnesota has all the fixing to be unstoppable and make a run that ends in a Stanley Cup win.
Worst Case Scenario
On the flip side, Minnesota has had the pieces to win a Stanley Cup each of the last few years and they couldn’t get past the Chicago Blackhawks. If they want to get to the Cup Final, they need to make sure they correct things that have gone wrong, something they do slightly but then get bounced around by Chicago.
You’d think that the fourth time running into the Hawks would finally result in change, but they lost last year and dismissed the third time is the charm notion. It’s going to be harsh for the Wild in the West and Mike Yeo might expose himself as inept when it comes to running the team and getting the Wild on the right track.
More from Minnesota Wild
- Are the Minnesota Wild about to be a playoff spoiler in the West?
- Should the Minnesota Wild want to make the playoffs?
- The Wild and Islanders almost pulled off a blockbuster Zach Parise trade
- The timing of Bruce Boudreau’s firing makes no sense for the Wild
- 5 candidates to replace Bruce Boudreau as Minnesota Wild coach