Minnesota Wild: 2018-19 Season Preview of Jonas Brodin

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 06: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) during an NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues on February 06, 2018, at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO. Minnesota won, 6-2. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 06: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) during an NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues on February 06, 2018, at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO. Minnesota won, 6-2. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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We are only 25 days away from Minnesota Wild preseason hockey! Today, we take a look at veteran defenseman Jonas Brodin and his place on the roster.

Jonas Brodin has been a steady part of the Minnesota Wild defense for the better part of 7 seasons now. Entering the 2018-19 season he finds himself among a very deep defensive group, and one of the veterans who will be tasked with helping and teaching the younger players on how to excel at the NHL level.

History

Brodin, a former Top 10 pick in the 1st Round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, entered the Wild locker room with high expectations and did not disappoint. Debuting in the league during the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, Jonas has never since let up his spot on the roster.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Brodin, though, as he actually got off to a terrible start to his professional career. During the lockout, Brodin was initially assigned to play in the AHL with the Houston Aeros. 8 Games into the AHL season, Brodin had his clavicle broken and was left recovering for 11 weeks.

When the injury had finally healed, the lockout had ended and Brodin got the call-up to the NHL after only one more game in the AHL. He finished this stint in the AHL with 4 points through 9 games and a +2.  

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His NHL debut finished with 19 minutes of ice time and 1 assist in a loss to the Detroit Red Wings. He showed reliability, skill, and instant chemistry with Ryan Suter that would make it impossible for the Minnesota Wild to send him back to Houston.

Brodin finished his rookie season with 11 points through 45 games played, a +3 rating, and voted as a member of the NHL’s All-Rookie Team. He got his first taste of NHL playoff hockey, and has not looked back since.

Through 7 seasons with the team, Brodin has been a Top 4 defenseman his entire career. Following his rookie season Brodin has spent time on and off with Ryan Suter, but more recently he was paired with Marco Scandella and then most recently with Matt Dumba last season.

He has 100 points through 404 NHL Games, a +47 rating in his career, and a solid 44 games of playoff experience. His biggest contributions are in his defensive positioning and his shot blocking, though, as he is the definition of a stay-at-home defenseman. Rarely will you find Brodin scrambling to get back because he was out of position or pinched too high on a rush.

Season Preview

Jonas Brodin is entering his 8th season on tenuous ground in the Minnesota Wild organization. Despite being a reliable member of the Wild’s Defensive Top 4 since being drafted, his name has been mentioned more often than any as a potential trade piece.

Following the 2016-17 season while everyone was concerned about the Expansion Draft for the Vegas Golden Knights, Jonas Brodin was mentioned extremely often as the piece of the Wild defense who could have either been taken in the Expansion Draft or traded to make room to protect other players.

As we saw, neither of those stories ever came to fruition as the Wild opted to ship Brodin’s defensive partner Marco Scandella to Buffalo instead and made sure to protect the defensive leader from Expansion.

It is concerning for anyone who enjoys watching Brodin on the ice to know he is one phone call away from being out the door. Brodin is a champion both on and off the ice, and deserves the spot he has earned for himself.

As I mentioned in my prior look at Jared Spurgeon, this could be the season we see a lot of changes coming to the Wild defense. With numerous rookies ready to make the jump, others signed in free agency, and the veteran core struggling to make it past the first round of the playoffs we could be in for a lot of shuffling.

I expect Brodin to be a constant, unless the rumors come true and he does find himself on a plane out of town. After spending last season paired with up-and-comer Matt Dumba, there’s a good chance Dumba gets a shot on the top pairing with Ryan Suter and Brodin stays on the second pairing with Spurgeon.

With Brodin the Minnesota Wild know what they have, which is perhaps why trading him away has not happened as of yet. Jonas is a calming presence on the ice, he carries himself with poise and confidence beyond his years.

As a 25 year old, with 7 years NHL experience, and 3 years remaining on his current contract, Brodin still has plenty of solid hockey and the prime of his career in front of him. Given the crowded line-up on the blueline there is at least a possibility we see Brodin packaged and out the door this season, but I don’t think that is realistic.

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The Wild organization to this point has shown a loyalty to their first round draft pick, and he in return has shown dedication to the team and its fans. Perhaps GM Fenton doesn’t have that same loyalty, but until it happens I’m not predicting anything but another 75+ games with 20 points and immeasurable intangible skills for the Swedish defenseman.