The Minnesota Wild play their season opener in 17 days. Until that time we will be counting down the 10 most important Wild players for the upcoming season. Thus far, Kevin Fiala came in at number 10. Ryan Donato checked in at number nine. Eric Staal was number eight on the list and Jared Spurgeon was number seven on the countdown.
Ryan Suter is the model of consistency. The 34-year old defenseman just keeps chugging along and one could argue that he’s getting better with age.
This past season Suter posted 47 points, which ranked 14th among defenseman. It marked the fourth straight season that the defenseman recorded 40 or more points. Keep in mind that Suter was coming off a ankle injury that forced him to miss the final four games of the 2017-2018 season. With the injury behind him, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Suter challenge his career-highs in points and assists this season.
Suter recently was ranked the 18th best defenseman on NHL Network’s Top 20 Defenseman countdown. One could argue that he could have been higher on that list. 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.
The Athletic’s, Dom Luszczyszyn stated in his Wild preview that Suter is the team’s most complete defenseman.
"Ryan Suter has been an elite defender for the majority of his career and that value remains to this day at age 34. By expected goals he’s the team’s most well-rounded defenseman offering equally strong value at both ends of the ice while continuing to eat minutes to a high degree. His 26:42 was tops in the league and it’s his eighth straight season in the league’s top three."
It was seven years ago when the Wild went out and signed Suter and Zach Parise. This past season was marked the first time that the Wild didn’t make the playoffs in the Parise/Suter era. In a recent interview with Fox 9’s, Jim Rich, Suter told him that the goal is to still bring a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey.
"“This is why Zach and me came here. We want to win a Stanley Cup in Minnesota…If you can win in MInnesota I think it be such a fun experience."
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.