As we continue on with our over/under projections, we’ll stay on the top line that will likely open the season for the Minnesota Wild. On right wing of that top line you’ll find Dany Heatley, a former 50-goal scorer who will have an abundance of chances to light the lamp this year playing along side Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.
Last season Heatley had what many considered to be a down year, posting 24 goals and 53 points, his lowest totals since the 2003-04 season when he only played in 31 games. Some say he’s on the down side of his career. Some say it was adjusting to a new club while others point out that the Wild don’t exactly play the run and gun style that he may have been used to in both San Jose and Ottawa. With more of a defensive minded style of play that the Wild tend to focus on, Heatley may have been the victim of a change of structure. He still managed to lead the Wild in goals and points, but he was also one of only three players who managed to stay healthy enough to play in all 82 games.
The hockey experts at TSN.ca have Heatley projected to score 16 goals and 20 assists, good for 36 points while playing in all 48 games except for one. Considering his linemates will be Parise and Koivu and barring they all stay healthy, Heatley’s projections are low to me so I’m taking the over in all three categories.
Like Parise, I don’t think these numbers are far off, but Heatley is a proven and gifted goal scorer. At this pace he’s scoring in just 34% of the games, where I see Heatley lighting the lamp closer to 40% of the games. With that being said, I’m taking him to score 19 goals and add 22 assists, good for 41 points on the season, proving he still has plenty of gas left in his tank.
His current projections have him ranked 40th in the league in scoring, but if he can surpass the 40-point plateau he’ll likely be in the top twenty in scoring; a position that Heatley’s name should be in.
Agree or disagree with these over/under point projections? We welcome your comments.