As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, our fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's fantasy landscape. Fantasy-relevant players are listed in order of rank in NHL.com's top 250. Today, we look at the Minnesota Wild.
[WILD 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the numbers | More team fantasy previews]
Mikael Granlund, C/RW -- One of the breakout players of 2016-17, Granlund doubled his goal total (from 13 to 26) and had 25 more points last season (69) than he did in 2015-16 (44). Because of those numbers, he could be selected in the fourth or fifth round. There's no doubt he helped the power play and penalty kill and provided excellent all-around value, but he could be due for a regression. Don't count on another season of close to 70 points this season.
Eric Staal, C -- He was a point-per-game player for large stretches of last season, finishing with 28 goals, 37 assists and 65 points in 82 games, Staal was a plus-17 and had eight game-winning goals. There's no doubt he was rejuvenated in his first season in Minnesota and perhaps had something to prove following a disappointing 2015-16 season. The top-line center should provide good fantasy value again, although he may not approach last season's totals.
Zach Parise, LW -- The 33-year-old has fallen from the fantasy elite, scoring more than 56 points once in the past five seasons. He still provides value on the power play and in SOG but is an injury risk. Parise has had declining goals, assists and points totals in each of the past three seasons. However, he's a top-liner and likely wouldn't fall out of the top six no matter how badly he struggles. However, there are better options out there, including several on his own team.
Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW -- There's no reason to think Niederreiter can't replicate his success from the past few seasons; he had 25 goals last season and has at least 20 in each of the past three and is arguably the second-best scoring threat on the Wild behind Granlund. He gained confidence playing on the power play and has been a plus-player in each of his four seasons with the Wild.
Mikko Koivu, C -- Known more for his faceoff prowess and defensive play, Koivu had 58 points last season (his most since 2010-11) and has averaged 54 in the past four seasons. He's not on everyone's radar but provides category coverage and could see time as the No. 1 center, which would elevate his fantasy worth.
Video: 31 in 31: Minnesota Wild 2017-18 season preview
Charlie Coyle, C/RW -- Despite not getting as much attention as his teammates, Coyle finished fifth on the Wild with 56 points and just missed finishing in the top 100 in Yahoo's year-end rankings (108). His PIM, SOG and PPP were all up from 2015-16, but he could take a step back if he's relegated to a role on the third line.
Joel Eriksson Ek, C -- The talented center had seven points (three goals, four assists) and 15 SOG in 15 games last season, including five points in his first four NHL games. He likely will begin the season on the third line with Tyler Ennis and Charlie Coyle, but the 20-year-old has breakout potential, even if he can't crack the top six.
Ryan Suter -- He finished first or second in total ice time in each of the past five seasons and rarely misses a game. He's missed eight games the past six seasons and has played every game in seven of the past 11. Suter plays in all situations and has averaged 42 points in the past six seasons. He's also scored double-digit power-play points in each of the past 10 seasons and remains one of the top 15 fantasy defensemen.
Matt Dumba -- He set NHL career highs in goals (11), points (34) and plus/minus (plus-15) to finish 148th in Yahoo (21st among defensemen). He played frequently on the Wild's first power-play unit with Suter, but still has room for improvement (12 PPP). He loses value in leagues that count blocked shots (181 in 228 career NHL games), but has added value in leagues where goals are worth more than assists.
Video: STL@MIN, Gm5: Suter launches a booming PPG past Allen
Devan Dubnyk -- In the past three seasons, his 108 wins rank second behind Braden Holtby (131) and he ranks tied for second in save percentage (.923) and third in goals-against average (2.23) among goalies with at least 100 starts, proving how valuable he is. Dubnyk is also tied for second with 16 shutouts in that span. He's a workhorse who has averaged 65 starts the past two seasons and is a virtual lock for 35 wins and a top 10, or five, finish among goalies.
Others to consider: Jason Zucker (LW/RW), Ennis (LW/RW), Marcus Foligno (LW), Chris Stewart (LW/RW), Jared Spurgeon (D)