Fifteen Greatest Minnesota Wild Players: #13 Brad Bombardir


Brad Bombardir was one of the leaders of the inaugural Minnesota Wild team in 2000-01.  His solid defensive play and dedication to the game make him a Wild fan favorite even to this day.

Number thirteen on our list of the Fifteen Greatest Minnesota Wild Players is another original member of the Minnesota, who has a very dubious franchise first to his credit.  Defenseman Brad Bombardir became the first player to be traded to the Minnesota Wild on the dame day of the expansion draft.  The Wild would swap claimed goaltender Chris Terreri back to the team who lost him in the expansion draft the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Bombardir.  Bomabardir would spend four seasons in Minnesota and gain a reputation as one of the young team’s strongest leaders.

The Powell River, BC native had a long road to the NHL that started just up the road from the Twin Cities at the University of North Dakota in 1990-91.  Before entering his freshman year at North Dakota, he was drafted 56th overall by the Devils and was well on his way to being in the NHL in short order.  Bombardir would spend all four years at UND and another four full seasons in the AHL after that in Albany.

From the beginning Bombardir was not known as a flashy player.  His stat lines were often unimpressive. What did impress people was his ability to play solid defense, and use his modest 6 foot 1 inch, 205 lb frame to play a physical brand of hockey.  And eventually with some hard work in the AHL, to include a Calder Cup championship in 1995, his break came in the 1997-98 season when the Devils called him up to the NHL and kept him there.

Bombardir’s time with the Devils would last three seasons, and would result in a Stanley Cup ring for Brad in 1999-00 season.  Then that summer the Wild would acquire him, and bring him in to mentor their young defensive corps.

Over the next four seasons Bombardir would play in 212 games for the Wild and would continue his solid defensive play that saw him keep the pace with solid minutes and clean smart physical play.  He’s also credited with being key in the development of defensemen Nick Schultz and Willie Mitchell.  Perhaps his biggest accomplishment as a Wild player was to be named monthly captain a franchise record seven times under head coach Jacques Lemaire who did not believe in one permanent captain for the young Wild.

At the end of the 2003-04 season Bombardir would be traded to Nashville for a pair draft picks.  Soon after that he would suffer a career ending knee injury after being sent down to the AHL by the Preds.  Bombardir would only play 13 games in Nashville, and would suffer his career ending injury after only one game played in Springfield of the AHL.

Next: Fifteen Greatest Minnesota Wild Players: #14 Darby Hendrickson

Gone from the Wild but not forgotten, Bombardir like many of the great players on that original 2000-01 Wild team remains largely popular amongst the Wild faithful.  So much so that the Wild brought him back to the organization where he currently continues to mentor players as he did in his playing days as the Wild’s Director of Player Development.  He’ll be forever remembered as a leader on the ice, but his legacy with the will be shown by all the great players the Wild have developed over the last couple of seasons.