The Minnesota Wild often enough build from the bottom of their lineup and focus on getting those physically gifted players as the foundation for some of their more skilled guys. Well, that has now led to not a whole lot of room for someone making an immediate impression in the preseason.
Sammy Walker has been electric almost every time he has stepped on the ice wearing a Wild sweater. From his regular season appearances to the recent preseason matches, the college free agent signing has been doing the most imaginable in all three zones on the ice -- and is scoring goals! So, in saying that, the Wild don't really have a spot on the lineup available.
If we're penciling in a rough lineup, we're probably seeing Brandon Duhaime, Connor Dewar, and Patrick Maroon form the fourth line; Marcus Foligno, Marco Rossi, and Frederick Gaudreau form the third, and then the usual suspects in the top-six. It just seems like a logjam has been forcefully created so that none of these skilled, young forwards are able to establish themselves as NHL players.
- Is Matt Boldy ready to make "the leap" from very good player to elite player? He is slowly building his reputation at a young age, but can he possibly be equal to one Kirill Kaprizov in terms of offensive threat? [Hockey Wilderness]
- Multi-time champion Pat Maroon is ready to prepare for another run at the Stanley Cup. [Pioneer Press]
Off the trail...
- Patrick Kane is still an unrestricted free agent and isn't attending any team's training camp for a tryout. But what he is doing is sending training highlight videos to the public through his agent. [NHL dot com]
- The Calgary Flames re-signed key center Mikael Backlund to a two-year contract and not just that, but named him team captain at the same time. [DailyFaceoff]
- How much should fans really read into the preseason? We've seen our fair share of AHL-destined players suddenly turn into prime Wayne Gretzky during exhibition games, so should we really take them to heart? [The Hockey News]
- Uh oh! Top 2024 NHL Draft prospect Cole Eiserman has decommitted from the University of Minnesota, and has opted to play closer to home at Boston University. [DailyFaceoff]