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Article: How Will the Wild's New Prospects Fit In With the Existing Group?

Luke Sims

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This year's draft class was light on top-rated defensemen but next year's is, allegedly, chock full of 'em! Smart of them to pass on using the top picks for defense in a year where its a weak class. 

Just as smart of them to grab the big C with size when he was available instead of risking the likely chance he wouldn't have been there at #53. 

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I like that we got to be picky with picks. When you have an empty cupboard is when you can't afford to be picky, you just take the best guy on the board. They did a good job filling a void. 

However, they didn't get the 1 big defender nor the #1C. Maybe that is by design. 

Of course, these guys are rarely available, but if you are banking on the C or big dynamic D, would it be better to take one that needs developing or to take one that is already there? This season will probably be the last season of the placeholders. I think the transition will start, perhaps on a part-time basis with several players sharing 1 spot. '24, a huge transition should happen as we could, potentially, replace 4 players at $13m with minimum/elc players. That would leave open about $10m + the cap going up. Could we add then? Maybe.

Then, in '25, the handcuffs come off and we gain $15m in cap space + another cap increase. Most definitely, this is when we add. We will need to take care of a few players and resign Kaprizov, but this is where you find the big D and the #1C. Could we, at that time afford, say, a Pettersson who is done with Vancouver? Or, perhaps another player who needs a change of scenery or is being wasted like Brent Burns was? 

Is next year, or '25 a big free agent year? Could a Draisaitl, perhaps, decide another location is better for him? Maybe someone like a Seth Jones is available? One thing is for sure, we will have money to add!

Hopefully at that time we'll still have a solid tandem in Goose2 (who at that time will just be Goose) and The Wall. If we can fill out most of the underlying talent with our current prospects and fill in the stars with free agent/trade money, we should be serious contenders. And, playing with Boldy/Kaprizov should be a desirable location to want to come to.

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