Today, we discuss the top three goal scorers in Minnesota Wild history and discuss some honorable mentions as well.
1. Marián Gáborík
The Wild made Marian Gaborik their first-ever draft selection when they chose the Slovak forward 3rd overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and went onto score the first goal in Wild franchise history on Oct 6th, 2000 against the Might Ducks Of Anaheim.
During Gaborik’s time in Minnesota, he showed consistency in his game by putting up big numbers year after year. He had 7 seasons in Minnesota where he put up 30 goals or more and 2 of those seasons he put up 42 goals which is a tie with Eric Staal for most goals in a season.
Heads turned when Gaborik was on this ice, and as the New York Rangers found out on December 20th, 2007 when Gaborik lit the lamp 5 times against a New York Rangers team that honestly didn’t know what had hit them.
In the 2001-2002 season, Gaborik was named to the NHL Youngstars roster and was also named to the NHL All-Star game during the 2007-2008 season. He left the Wild in 2009 after scoring 219 goals, which is still a record with the Wild, to sign with the New York Rangers and has since gone on to be named to the 2012 All-Star Game and win the Stanley Cup in 2014 as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
2. Mikko Koivu
The Wild drafted a young center out of Finland during the 2001 NHL Entry Draft when they scooped up Mikko Koivu 6th overall. While Koivu may not have been the elite goal scorer that Marian Gaborik was, Koivu has every reason to be on this list.
Currently, Koivu is the full-time Captain of the Wild, a letter he has worn on his sweater since the fall of 2009 when the Wild named him the first full-time captain in franchise history and has also spent his entire 15-year career with Minnesota.
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While Koivu may not have the glam of being named to any All-Star games or winning any trophies in his career, he is the veteran of over 1000 games played in the NHL and owns 205 goals and 709 points total which is enough to be the owner of the all-time points leader on the Wild.
Koivu’s best season statistically with Minnesota comes during the 2009-2010 season that saw him put up 22 goals and 49 assists for 71 points in 80 games and is also still and standing career-high for Koivu. It remains to be seen how much more Mikko Koivu will contribute to the Wild with his current contract set to expire and his decision looming on retirement.
It felt wrong to leave the all-time points leader off this list, which is ultimately why we decided to include him.
3. Zach Parise
Zach Parise emerged as a powerful goal scorer for the New Jersey Devils who had drafted Parise 17th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Zach’s production in New Jersey caught the eyes of several NHL general managers leading up to the 2012 free agency period.
On July 4th, 2012, Zach Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild to come home to the twin cities, a place Parise called home in his youth. Since he arrived in Minnesota, Parise has gone onto have five seasons of 25+ goals and during the 2014-2015 season, he scored 33 goals for the Wild.
Throughout Parise’s time in Minnesota, he has scored 192 goals in 513 games and is a veteran of over 1000 games played in the NHL. Zach Parise’s time in Minnesota is still far from over, regardless of being 35 years old, Zach still has shown that he has a high compete level and can still score critical goals when it matters.
Brian Rolston came to the Wild in the 2004 off-season but didn’t make his presence until the 2005-2006 season due to the 04-05 lockout. During Rolston’s short three years in Minnesota, he effectively proved that he was a threat. He often quarterbacked the power play and in each of his 3 seasons, scored over 30 goals for the Wild scoring a total of 96 goals in 241 games in Minnesota.
Brian Rolston also was a rotating captain on the Wild and was also named to the 2006-2007 NHL All-Star game.
Jason Zucker was picked up in the 2nd round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and after signing his ELC with Minnesota out of college, Zucker had a slow start to his NHL career. It wasn’t till the 2014-2015 season where Zucker came out with the jets on and put up 21 goals in 51 games during the season.
He also put up 2 more 20 goal seasons during his time in Minnesota. Zucker’s best season in Minnesota came during the 2017-2018 season where he put up 33 goals and 31 assists in a full 82 game season.
Besides his on-ice actions, Zucker was also known for his off-ice work with his charity GIVE 16 and his work in the community which led Jason to be named the winner of the King Clancy Humanitarian Award for the 2018-2019 season.