Minnesota Wild: 2018-19 Season Preview of Jared Spurgeon

EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 10: Jared Spurgeon #46 of the Minnesota Wild skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on March 10, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 10: Jared Spurgeon #46 of the Minnesota Wild skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on March 10, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Minnesota Wild fans are very familiar with Jared Spurgeon and his value to this team. Preseason puck drop is 46 days away, so there is no better time to preview #46.

Jared Spurgeon is entering his 9th season at the NHL level, as a defensive mainstay where he has spent the majority of the last couple seasons on the top defensive pairing alongside Ryan Suter. Spurgeon has developed his game to be a consistent piece of the back 6 for the Minnesota Wild, providing a reliable 30 points per season over the last 3 seasons while taking minimal penalty minutes and being responsible defensively as well.


Spurgeon followed up his 2016-17 career year (38 points in 76 games, 20 penalty minutes) with a very comparable 2017-18 for the Minnesota Wild (37 points in 61 games,  8 penalty minutes). The major downfall to his game last season, was a drop in plus/minus (+33 to -6).

This drastic drop was not localized to Spurgeon however, as a large number of Wild players saw career high plus/minus stats from 2016-17 take a drastic fall last season. This is likely attributed to better overall team preparation of opposing teams following an outstanding year.

While Spurgeon has provided a reliable and consistent offensive and defensive presence whenever he takes the ice, his biggest detraction has been overall durability. Jared has never played more than 77 games in a single regular season, and only twice has managed more than 70.

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Whether by injury or sickness,  it has become an expected occurrence for Spurgeon to miss at least a handful of games every season. These missed games disrupt team chemistry as well as Spurgeon’s personal game consistency,  as it takes both the team and himself time to adapt to periods away from the ice.

Season Preview

This could be a very telling season for Jared Spurgeon and his future with the Minnesota Wild. As an undersized player with durability concerns on a team with an increasing amount of defensive prospect depth, Spurgeon could soon find his place on the team changing.

Jared Spurgeon has become accustomed to spending the majority of his ice time alongside Ryan Suter on the top pairing. However, during Suter and Spurgeon’s injuries at the end of last season, Mathew Dumba performed admirably in an increased role on the top pair and may see a promotion to fill the spot beside Suter.

I would not be surprised to see Spurgeon relegated to the second pairing alongside Jonas Brodin over the course of this season, if he doesn’t start the season there. Second pairing may actually benefit Jared, though, by taking him away from the defensive responsibilities of matching up with opposing top lines and allowing him room to use his offensive abilities more.

As an undersized, offensively gifted defenseman with a great outlet pass, vision to hit his targets in stride, and the hockey awareness to jump into plays in the opposing zone there is still a ton of upside to Jared Spurgeon maintaining his spot on this team.

Spurgeon will turn 29 this season, which is amazing to think since it feels like he has been a member of the Minnesota Wild for so long. He still has plenty of time left in his career, but it may not be as a member of the Wild for too much longer.

Offensive skill, defensive capability, and the young players coming up from the minors could be pushing Spurgeon out the door. If he is unwilling to waive his No-Trade Clause, then he is guaranteed to remain for 2 more seasons still. Should he waive it to allow GM Fenton to move him, we should see a solid return for a reliable, productive, team-first player.

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I would personally love to see Jared adapt to more of a veteran leadership role, and possibly take on some additional offensive responsibilities on a bottom pairing. He is well liked among the Minnesota Wild fan base and has earned the franchise’s trust in him, but I don’t know if he has a long term place on this team anymore.