Jason Pominville has turned out to be one of the better trades in recent Minnesota Wild history. At least, the Wild appear to have gotten what they were looking for over the last two seasons. The price was steep. The Wild gave up forward Johan Larsson and goaltender Matt Hackett as well as the draft picks that would become defenseman Nikita Zadorov and winger Vaclav Karabacek.
That’s a lot of prospect talent for a Sabres team that’s been rebuilding and has an incredible stockade of young talent.
Nonetheless, Pominville’s impact has been invaluable for the Wild, who are a contender in the present. He led the team in scoring last season with 30 goals, the first Wild player to hit the 30-goal threshold since the 2007-08 season when Marian Gaborik and Brian Rolston both did.
He was a leader on and off the ice and stayed healthy all season as the Wild saw Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Keith Ballard, Jason Zucker, and Jared Spurgeon all go down with injuries at different points in the year.
Also, it’s worth noting that he re-signed with the team, making the steep price more palatable. Notable since the Wild traded with Buffalo again this year at the trade deadline, acquiring Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick, both of whom re-signed with the Sabres once free agency hit on July 1.
Now, watch the team-leading 30 goals (plus two postseason markers) from Pominville.
#1 10/05/13 vs. Anaheim Ducks ANA 4 – MIN 3 (OT)
Pominville hit the first of his team-leading total from the point on the power play, a spot he may return to this season, which would make for a hell of a top power play unit with him and Ryan Suter on the point and Koivu, Parise, and Thomas Vanek down low.
#2 10/14/13 vs. Buffalo Sabres MIN 2 – BUF 1
After a great series of quick passes, Pominville scores in his first game in Buffalo since being traded to the Wild the season before.
#3 10/15/13 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs MIN 1 – TOR 4
His hands are pretty good. Otherwise, let’s all agree to forget this painful game where the Leafs scored four goals on 14 shots and the Wild got 1 on 37.
#4 10/22/13 vs. Nashville Predators NSH 0 – MIN 2
#5 10/26/13 vs. Chicago Blackhawks MIN 5 – CHI 3
Pominville from Granlund. If only FSN announcer Anthony LaPanta knew how many times he’d yell that last season.
#6 10/26/13 vs. Chicago Blackhawks MIN 5 – CHI 3
One more time. Pominville from Granlund. Coach Q furiously takes notes again.
#7 10/28/13 vs. Chicago Blackhawks CHI 5 – MIN 1
One more time. Pominville from Granlund against Chicago, two nights later.
#8 11/01/13 vs. Montreal Canadiens MTL 3 – MIN 4
Different opponent. Same formula. Pominville from Granlund.
#9 11/01/13 vs. Montreal Canadiens MTL 3 – MIN 4
We’ll have to check the replay. It looks like Pominville scored, but I don’t see Granlund on the ice.
#10 11/03/13 vs. New Jersey Devils NJD 0 – MIN 4
That goes in with 2:25 left on the clock. Eat your heart out Patrick Roy.
#11 11/09/13 vs. Carolina Hurricanes MIN 3 – CAR 2 (SO)
This one is reminiscent of the goal earlier in the season when Granlund hit Pominville on the stretch pass for the breakaway.
#12 11/15/13 vs. Florida Panthers FLA 2 – MIN 3
Pominville off a great, cross-ice feed from Spurgeon. This is why Patrick Kane told Spurgeon “you’re going to be sick” during the handshakes at the end of the playoffs. That or Kane had the flu and was trying to warn him against shaking hands.
#13 11/20/13 vs. Ottawa Senators MIN 4 – OTT 3
Pominville is great at finding the open ice on the weak side and being patient. This is how they drew the power play on the whiteboard.
#14 12/02/13 vs. Philadelphia Flyers PHI 0 – MIN 2
This goal is for everyone who thinks that Koivu doesn’t add enough to the Wild. He’s a playmaker. Not many players make that pass work.
#15 12/11/13 vs. Anaheim Ducks MIN 1 – ANA 2
#16 12/19/13 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins MIN 2 – PIT 5
That’s a great play. That slight cut to the outside, then drive to the net make a nice opening and angle for him to make that tip.
#17 12/22/13 vs. New York Rangers MIN 1 – NYR 4
It was a secondary assist, but Granlund to Pominville makes a return.
#18 01/02/14 vs. Buffalo Sabres BUF 1 – MIN 4
Pominville loves playing against the Sabres.
#19 01/16/14 vs. Edmonton Oilers EDM 1 – MIN 4
Great play by Granlund, which he follows by unsurprisingly feeding Pominville.
#20 01/23/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks CHI 1 – MIN 2
Yeah, that’s one of the best goals of the year. Granlund and Pominville have some sort of ESP going on.
#21 01/28/14 vs. Anaheim Ducks MIN 4 – ANA 2
Pominville scores from everywhere, even behind the net. (He’ll do it again this season.)
#22 01/30/14 vs. Colorado Avalanche MIN 4 – COL 5
You’ll never guess who passed Pominville the puck for this one.
#23 03/09/14 vs. St. Louis Blues STL 3 – MIN 2 (SO)
#24 03/11/14 vs. Edmonton Oilers EDM 4 – MIN 3 (SO)
What was almost a beautiful play from Parise and Graunlund, becomes a beautiful play from Granlund. Then the Wild choked on their 3-0 lead and lost the game.
#25 03/15/14 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets CBJ 2 – MIN 1 (SO)
#26 03/17/14 vs. Boston Bruins MIN 1 – BOS 4
Oh, yeeeeeeah. Those shattered stick goals are the stuff rivalries are built on. That’s probably why the Wild v. Bruins is getting a nationally televised Wednesday Night Rivalry game. Right?
#27 03/23/14 vs. Detroit Red Wings MIN 4 – DET 3 (OT)
#28 04/08/14 vs. Boston Bruins BOS 3 – MIN 4 (SO)
Pominville like playing against Boston as much as he likes playing against Buffalo.
#29 04/08/14 vs. Boston Bruins BOS 3 – MIN 4 (SO)
Pominville’s second of the night.
#30 04/13/14 vs. Nashville Predators NSH 7 – MIN 3
And in the 11th hour, Pominville hits 30 goals.
#31 04/28/14 vs. Colorado Avalanche COL 2 – MIN 5
Pominville’s first of the playoffs comes on an empty net, but ices Game 6 for Minnesota.
#32 05/09/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks CHI 2 – MIN 4
The Wild probably needed a little more out of the regular season scoring leader than just two playoff goals, especially when the first was an empty-netter and this one was scored by banking the puck off of Corey Crawford’s back from behind the net.