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  • Jonas Brodin drops to #5 in the Top 25 Under 25


    Perhaps the most surprising "stat" attributed to Jonas Brodin at this point is still his age. At 23, he has already played 263 games over four seasons. As encouraging as it is that Brodin has enjoyed success early on in his career, it may also be a double-edged sword in that with so much experience there is a chance that Brodin's game does not have much more room to grow. The good news however is that Brodin has shown in the past that he can be an effective top-4 shutdown defenseman. The bad news is that Brodin has also shown that he can be a top-4 possession liability with below average puck-moving ability and next to zero offensive instincts.

    The bad news portion of that is likely the reason Brodin fell from the fourth spot in last year's list. It's impossible to deny that Brodin had a down year across the board last season. His even-strength Corsi fell from 50.8% to 44.8%, and his offensive production fell from a paltry 12 points to an almost impossibly low six points. Even when factoring in the fact that the Wild were a weaker possession team last season, that individual drop was significant.

    Brodin did transition from playing primarily with Ryan Suter in 2014-15 to playing mainly with Marco Scandella in 2015-16. The glimmer of hope for Wild fans is that Scandella also struggled mightily last season and so perhaps a shuffling of the defense pairings could reestablish Brodin as a strong possession player who matches up with oppositions top lines.

    It's fair to say that we all had higher hopes than this for Brodin, but the fact that he has not developed any sort of offensive upside has really limited his effectiveness. We know he is a great player in the defensive zone, but his inability to turn that defense into any sort of offense is concerning to say the least. Wild fans everywhere are hoping that Scott Stevens will be able to sprinkle some offense into Brodin's game. And with the skating tools Brodin has, it's really not hard imagine a bounce back season under new leadership.

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