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  • Minnesota Wild Season Grades: The Right Wingers


    As the week wraps up, your Wilderness editors bring you the last of our grades for the forwards. The staff will be post their grades for the RWs later today as well.

    Dan- Last season, if he wasn't scoring, he was pretty much useless. This season, he introduced a gritty side to his game and it has paid huge dividends. Not only does he hit and forechecks hard now, his new found skills have also helped his offensive production as now he can start creating his own chances rather than just rely on a playmaking linemate. (Dan forgot to give him a actual grade)

    Emilie- Setoguchi's grade is really tough (I actually left his for last). As far as scoring goes, He was 2nd on the team for goals scored (although the beginning of the season was horrible for him) 5th for assists and 4th for overall points. But I can't help but think that Seto is better than what his stats are saying. Parise had almost twice as many shots as Seto did. Seto picked up his physical game a lot this season, and it suited him very well. If he continues to improve on that area of his game (as well as improving his goal scoring), he has a real threat to be handful for every single team that plays against him. I still feel like Seto can play much better than he did throughout the season, so that knocks his grade just a bit. B-

    Cal Clutterbuck

    Bryan- Clutterbuck's hitting has become predictable, his irritation of other players subdued, and his agitation lessened. Maybe it was the short season, maybe it was something else, but Clutterbuck just did not seem as effective as he has been in the past. Usually players up their game in a contract year, but Clutterbuck seemed to lose a step somewhere. It's difficult to place it exactly, but something was missing. Grade: C

    Dan- What happened? Clutterbuck seems to be a neutered version of himself. He still skates hard and forechecks with energy, but gone are the days where he delivers devasting hits that agitate the bejusus out of opponents. He has turned from the perfect third line forward to just a good third. C

    Emilie- Cal had a rough year. He was all but invisible on the scoreboard, and even his trademark high hit count was pretty low (Setoguchi often end the game with more hits than Cal). For the firsts half of the season, it seemed like Cal's heart wasn't in the game, and while it got better as time went on I can't help but think how much better the team would have been if he had preformed to the level he played last season. He's made himself pretty expendable and honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he is traded in the offseason. C-

    Bryan- I'm not sure anyone expected Coyle to jump to the big team this season, let alone jump up and take the top line right wing position. He has the makings of a real threat, and showed real skill. No one will ever forget "The shift," making his place in Wild lore set already. He needs to finish a bit more often, and truly find his role in front of the net, but he is a damn fine hockey player, and will be a very good player for a very long time. How this kid barely even got a sniff on the power play is beyond me, but I guess it leaves something to look forward to next year. Grade: A

    Dan- Coyle was good for a rookie but just isn't good enough to play on the first line in my opinion. Great kid, probably has a future with the Parise-Koivu duo but now just isn't the time. Sorry. B-

    Emilie- No one expected Coyle to play as well as he did this year, and anyone who says they did is a big old liar. After watching him in Houston, I knew he had the talent, but he was still hesitant, like something was holding him back. I figured it would take him this season, and maybe into next season before he was ready to show the world what he's made of. I have never been so happy to be wrong in my life.

    His first stint up was a little rough, but he went back to Houston and focused on exactly what the coaches and his line mates had told him to work on. When he was called back up for the second time, he showed that he earned his spot on the first line. He's nearly impossible to knock off the puck, and he will battle the best of them at the boards and come out on top more times than not. He still had some rookie mistakes, but overall the kid looked great. I'd like to take the shift out of a date, and maybe marry it if that's possible. B+

    Jason Pominville

    Dan- You rarely notice him but he gets the job done. I am still unsure if he was worth the price but he makes the Wild alot more dangerous. He wasn't around for long so its hard to give him a fair grade. B

    Pominville joined the team and did exactly what was asked of him. He started scoring goals (would have been nice to have more scored), and made the first 3 lines solid scoring threats that kept opponents on their toes. If Dustin Brown hadn't decided to show the world how dirty he can play (Like there was really any question), the playoffs would have had a completely different look. I'm excited to see what Pominville can do with a full season on this team. B+

    Bryan- The speed we were told about was not a myth. Mitchell is one of the fastest, if not the fastest player on the team. The forecheck Mitchell can create is impossible to believe if you do not see it with your own eyes. Yes, he's still a 3rd / 4th line guy, but if you were to give this guy the hands of Parise, he would be a super star. He's good, and the Wild made a huge impact to their team in signing him. Grade: B+

    Dan- An underappreciated star player for the Wild. What made our fourth line so good half way around the season was its speed and tenacious forecheck, large thanks to Mitchell's game. He isn't going to score too often but he's going to cause some create some havoc on crucial minutes that need to be killed. B+

    Emilie- Mitchell was the catalyst of the 4th line this season. His speed is remarkable, and there were so many times I actually felt bad for him because he was stuck with guys who, for the most part, aren't the fastest or greatest play makers. He played very well when he had another skill player on his line. I am hoping that he gets bumped up to 3rd line next season and can continue having success with skilled guys. B

    JS- Clear improvement over many of the 4th line players the Wild have had in the past. I think he should have been the third liner instead of Clutterbuck this year, but he made the 4th line a playable one and had some chemistry with Rough and Stumble. (Guess which one Stumble is. I'll give you a hint: He has an overhyped pet rabbit and his name rhymes with Bonopka). He did have a slow start, but like all new players to the team, he didn't have time to adapt to his new environment without a pre-season, all thanks to Bettman and the Bad News Fehr. I can't overstate how great it was to have a 4th line Yeo could actually rely on once in a while. As far as 4th liners go, I can't really fault him on much. I liked him. Grade: B

    * Just checking to see if you are all alive.

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