#6: Minnesota Wild
(Mathew Dumba, Jared Spurgeon, J.J. Brodin, Jacob Middleton, Alex Goligoski, Calen Addison, Andrej Sustr, Jon Merrill)
I’m going to get a lot of push back for the preseason media darlings that are the Minnesota Wild for ranking their d-core so far back. But hear me; this list was extremely difficult to compile, and I’m just not overly impressed when I look that the Wild defensemen on paper.
This isn’t to say that they’re all scrub, because they’re clearly not. They have a bunch of serviceable defensemen that can do some good things. However, they lack superstar, elite talent anywhere in this position group.
Dumba is a hard-hitting, no-nonsense player that brings an edge to his game (114 hits last season). He’s just not overly productive offensively enough to impress you on a team’s top two defensive pairs.
Then you have Spurgeon, the elder statesman of the group. He brings some offensive skills to the group, but still nothing that pops off the page going into his 13th NHL season.
Middleton is a young and quality defensive-minded player that should keep getting better, but I have to see it to believe it.
The Wild as a whole will be a playoff team more than likely in 2022-23, but their d-core leaves a lot to be desired when you put them up against other teams within the division.