Minnesota Wild: 2018-19 Season Preview of Greg Pateryn

ST. PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 27: Greg Pateryn #29 of the Dallas Stars skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on December 27, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 27: Greg Pateryn #29 of the Dallas Stars skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on December 27, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /

An advance look at the Minnesota Wild roster, free agent signing Greg Pateryn is coming at you with 29 days left until preseason puck drop!

Perhaps the largest free agent signing of 2018 for the Minnesota Wild, was none other than shutdown defenseman Greg Pateryn. He signed a 3-year contract at a $2.25M AAV, and looks to make the opening night roster for a team desperate to solidify and stabalize the defense.


Pateryn was originally a 5th round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, though he was barely even able to comprehend his draft status before being shipped to the Montral Canadiens only a week later.

Despite his draft status and his NHL rights being in motion so early on in his career, Pateryn was never going to be an immediate NHL player as he had already commit to attend the University of Michigan in his home state for his NCAA career.

In 4 years at Michigan, Pateryn racked up 142 games games, scoring 43 points and finishing as a +44. Michigan never missed the NCAA playoffs in Pateryn’s career, and made the finals in his Junior season.

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He signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens immediately following the completion of his senior year, and made his NHL debut the following year. Pateryn would go scoreless with an Even plus/minus through 3 games. In 2014-15 Pateryn got his next shot at the pros.

His second season with the Canadiens went as well as the first, finishing the regular season with 0 points and an Even plus/minus through 17 games. He left his stamp on that team in the playoffs, though, as he scored his first career NHL points, finishing the playoffs with 3 assists through 7 games.

Pateryn would struggle to get consistent time on that Montreal team, however, and spent the next 2 seasons bouncing between the NHL and AHL before being traded to Dallas. In Dallas, Pateryn was given the chance to shine and he excelled.

Pateryn made the opening day roster coming out of the preseason last year, and managed to play an entire season with the Dallas Stars, finishing with a career-high 13 points through 73 games and a +6 rating.

Season Outlook

Pateryn was a big signing for a Minnesota Wild team who appear to have a ton of depth already at the defense position. His arrival will allow coach Bruce Boudreau some flexibility when choosing his defensive pairing, as well as force rookies like Carson Soucy and Nick Seeler to up their game if they want to make this team.

As a 2-way shutdown defenseman, Pateryn brings a skill set very similar to what is offered by the likes of Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin on this team already and will give the team a shutdown man for the 3rd pairing, potentially to allow an offensive minded defenseman to fill a void there.

Pateryn will not be going anywhere, as a 3-year deal worth $2M+ per season suggests that the team has high hopes for him to lock down an NHL spot. I will not be surprised to see him on opening night roster, but I will be surprised if we see him anywhere other than the 3rd pairing.

Pateryn’s shutdown ability is key to allow Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Mathew Dumba, and Brodin a chance to rest during a game. Lessening the minutes of the Top 4 should reduce the chances of them receiving injuries and increase the chances of entering the playoffs with a healthy lineup for the first time this decade.

I suspect we see Pateryn offer up 10-15 minutes on ice per night, 10 points, and a steady plus/minus to go along with 120 hits and immeasurable number of blocked shots on a nightly basis.

He’s the kind of player the fans in Minnesota love to see, a hitter like Cal Clutterbuck, a shot blocker like Spurgeon, and a team player like Prosser. He will finish his checks, he will get in the shooting lanes, and he will stand up for his teammates wherever it’s required of him.

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I don’t doubt there is a place on this team for Pateryn. At 27 years old, and a college student from the NCAA system, he should be a perfect fit on a team full of players his age that went the college route as well. His spot shouldn’t be handed to him, but should be easily earned by producing in training camp and preseason. I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to offer the Minnesota Wild in the regular season.