Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports
theScore is previewing each team leading up to the 2016-17 season.
The Minnesota Wild added Bruce Boudreau as head coach, who now faces a key assignment in getting more goals out of his new lineup. The Wild were among the best defensively last season, but finished 20th league-wide in offense.
Here's what the Wild's lineup looks like going into the 2016-17 season:
Eric Staal and Chris Stewart highlight the changes up front, with both bringing a different flavor to the offensive ranks. Boudreau believes Staal can rediscover his scoring touch in Minnesota, while Stewart provides size and an agitating quality on the wing. Young forward Mikael Granlund continues to make strides, posting a career-high 44 points last season.
The Wild didn't make any changes on the blueline, but at the same time, the team didn't need to, as defense remains its strength. Boudreau sees a lesser workload for Ryan Suter, believing it will allow him to be fresher in his performances in the latter stages of the season. Nate Prosser and Christian Folin, both right-handed shots, could split minutes on the bottom pairing.
Devan Dubnyk didn't keep up his Vezina-nominee numbers from the previous season, but his 32-26-4 record and .918 save percentage was hardly a point of concern. Darcy Kuemper is a reliable fill-in when needed.