6. Minnesota Wild: Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
This will be met with a lot of opposition from Wild fans and others, and keep in mind this is not saying that they have the sixth-worst team in the Central. But looking at their top line on its own, it makes sense why they have a bottom-four top line.
And it has absolutely nothing to do with Kaprizov, who is one of the best superstars in the NHL and undoubtedly makes his linemates better. And this is no knock on him, but just how much better can he continue to make his linemates than they currently are?
Hartman’s 2021-22 season was a flash in the pan compared to his previous seasons and he has not proven to be a consistent top line caliber center. This is a problem that has plagued the Wild for a while now and likely will this year again.
Even Zuccarello’s past season was somewhat out of nowhere, and he is 34 and very unlikely to have that good of a year again.
This projection could very well come back to bite me, but when you look at the rest of the top lines in the division, it is hard to put this group higher than they are.