With the possibility that Matt Dumba may be getting plucked by the Seattle Kraken during the expansion draft in July, it’s important for the Minnesota Wild to consider picking up a defensive prospect this offseason.
The Wild’s defensive corps had success this past season, keeping the opposition to less than three goals per game, on average. But the players are not getting any younger—especially Ryan Suter, who is likely playing out the final few years of his career.
Calen Addison (D)
The most promising defensive prospect currently in the Wild’s system is Canadian-born Calen Addison, who snuck in as the least attractive arm of the Jason Zucker trade. Though he’s a small player, he knows how to move the puck and get up ice. He raked in six goals and 16 assists for a total of 22 points over the course of 31 games with the Iowa Wild this past season.
Addison’s offensive production is in keeping with the top-four defenseman on the Wild’s roster. The top-four averaged 22 points this season, while also closing down opposing threats.
- Jonas Brodin: 9G, 14A, 23P
- Matt Dumba: 6G, 15A, 21P
- Ryan Suter: 3G, 16A, 19P
- Jared Spurgeon: 7G, 18A, 25P
Addison has good hockey IQ and sees everything on the ice. He’s patient on the offensive side of the puck, and he’s more than able to close gaps and work the boards on the defensive side. He has all the skills a competitive club wants in a defenseman.
The young defenseman registered just three games with the Wild this past season before he was sent back down to the Iowa Wild, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him step up to take Dumba’s spot should he be sent to play with the Seattle Kraken.
The simple fact is that the Wild don’t have a ton of defensive talent in their prospect pool. And Addison could be the piece that holds the team over until other prospects develop into NHL contributors.
The good news for the Wild this offseason is that they have two first-round draft picks. Even if just one of those picks is a solid defenseman, they should be in good shape. They could also afford to ship one of the picks in a trade for a ready-made defenseman for the 2021-2022 season.
The club has a lot of options, and it’ll be interesting to see what General Manager Bill Guerin decides to do in the offseason.