At the offensive end of the ice, the Minnesota Wild first two lines are reasonably easy to pick. It’s beyond them that the picture isn’t quite as crystal clear.
Between the three of them, they were last year’s top three scorers for the Minnesota Wild, netting a combined 207 points. They’ll need to repeat at least close to that sort of form this year in case any of the other forward combinations happen to struggle.
Parise only managed 42 games last campaign, so there’s no doubt it’s good to see him back. In that short span, he managed to score 15 goals and register 9 assists.
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He’s always quite reliable for points as long as he remains fit, which is always the part he’s proven slightly less reliable on.
Koivu and Neiderreiter, beyond their role on the second line, will no doubt also find themselves on the penalty-kill once more, ensuring they see a decent amount of ice-time.
The third line proves quite intriguing this year, as the Minnesota Wild chose to actually experiment a little in pre-season.
That experiment involved trialling Jordan Greenway as a center and seemed to be a relative success.
With Charlie Coyle netting a hat-trick in pre-season and Joel Eriksson-Ek mounting a strong shot total, this line may actually have something to it as the season starts.