NHL Network continued on with their Top 20 lists Sunday evening. The network has already released the Top 20 centers and wings and the Minnesota Wild had no player make the cut.
This week it was the top 20 defenseman in the league. Brett Burns, formally of the Minnesota Wild and now a member of the San Jose Sharks checked in at number one on the list. The Wild got one on the board when Ryan Suter checked in at number 18.
Suter is a model of consistency. Since the 2013-2014 season Suter has ranked in the top three in the NHL for time on ice and has posted 40 or more points in five of those six seasons.
One could argue that he could be higher on the list. He is a victim of his own success. This past season he ranked 14th among defeseman in points and assists.
Suter is like fine wine, he is getting better with age. Coming off a season-ending injury in 2017-2018, that forced him to miss the final four games of the regular season and the playoffs, Suter posted 47 points this past season. It marked the fourth straight year that Suter registered 40 or more points.
In 2015-2016, Suter posted a career-high 51 points. He likely would have exceeded that number in 2017-2018 if it weren’t for the injury he suffered. Despite missing the past four games Suter still posted 51 points and posted a career-high 45 assists.
With the injury behind him, it would not be surprising to see Suter challenge his career-highs in points and assists this season. A recent projection from Scout.com, projects Suter to finish below those marks with 46.9 points, which would make for a fifth straight season of 40 or more points.
If the Wild are going to get back to the postseason they will need Suter to be at the top of his game. As he’s proven throughout his career, that shouldn’t be an issue for Mr. Consistency. When this list is unveiled next offseason it would not be surprising to see Suter higher on the list.