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Team Reset

Wild may turn to prospects under new GM Fenton

Forwards Greenway, Kunin eye roster spots; Pateryn improves defense

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Senior Fantasy Editor

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Minnesota Wild:

The Minnesota Wild's biggest offseason change came at the top of the organization following their third straight first-round exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Wild fired general manager Chuck Fletcher on April 23, three days after being eliminated in five games by the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference First Round, and replaced him with Paul Fenton on May 21. Fenton was an executive with the Nashville Predators for the past 20 seasons, including as assistant GM under David Poile for the past 12.


[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage | Fantasy team previews]


Minnesota has made only minor roster tweaks, indicating forward prospects Jordan Greenway and Luke Kunin and defenseman prospects Carson Soucy and Nick Seeler will compete for full-time NHL roles this season.

Here is what the Wild look like today:


Key arrivals

Greg Pateryn, D: The 28-year-old signed a three-year, $6.75 million contract July 1 and is expected to play on the third defense pair. Pateryn averaged 19:37 of ice time in 73 games with the Dallas Stars last season and was one of the most effective shutdown defensemen in the NHL. … Eric Fehr, F: He signed a one-year, $1 million contract July 1 and likely will be Minnesota's fourth-line center. Fehr, who turns 33 on Sept. 7, and depth forward Matt Hendricks (signed one-year, $700,000 contract July 1) played for coach Bruce Boudreau with the Washington Capitals. … Andrew Hammond, G: The 30-year-old signed a one-year, two-way contract July 1, providing goaltending depth behind workhorse Devan Dubnyk and backup Alex Stalock. Hammond had a .933 save percentage in three playoff games (two starts) for the Colorado Avalanche last season, when he stepped in for injured goalies Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier.


Key departures

Matt Cullen, F: The oldest active player in the NHL at 41, Cullen signed a one-year, $650,000 contract July 1 to return to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He won the Stanley Cup twice with the Penguins (2016, 2017) after winning it with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. … Tyler Ennis, F: After the Wild bought out the final year of Ennis' contract, the 28-year-old signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 6. He had 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 73 games last season. … Daniel Winnik, F: The 33-year-old became an unrestricted free agent July 1 after he had 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 81 games last season.


On the cusp

Jordan Greenway, F: The 21-year-old had 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 36 games as a junior for Boston University last season before signing an entry-level contract with the Wild and joining them for six regular-season games and five postseason games. Greenway, selected in the second round (No. 50) in the 2015 NHL Draft, also played for the United States in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He would bring size (6-foot-6, 226 pounds) and physicality with a touch of scoring to the Wild's top nine. … Luke Kunin, F: The 20-year-old was selected with the 15th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and played 19 games for the Wild last season. Greenway and Kunin could earn roles on the second and third lines if left wing Zach Parise has a setback after fracturing his sternum in Game 3 against the Jets. Parise said July 11 that he has been "cleared to do everything." … Carson Soucy, D: The 23-year-old was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on April 1 after top defenseman Ryan Suter fractured his right ankle the previous night against the Stars. Soucy played three regular-season games and four in the postseason. He may be needed again if Suter is not ready to start the season. ... Nick Seeler, D: The 25-year-old was plus-10 in 22 regular-season games last season and signed a three-year contract July 1. He will compete with Soucy and Gustav Olofsson for playing time on the third pair.

Video: WPG@MIN, Gm3: Greenway pads lead with first NHL goal


What they still need

Minnesota has two remaining restricted free agents to sign, forward Jason Zucker and defenseman Matt Dumba. Zucker is coming off NHL career highs in goals (33), assists (31), points (64), power-play points (16) and shots on goal (222), and Dumba had NHL career highs in goals (14), assists (36), points (50) and shots on goal (176).


Fantasy focus

With little roster turnover, the Wild would benefit largely from a healthy Nino Niederreiter this season. The forward, who turns 26 on Sept. 8, covered all six standard fantasy categories to finish among the top 50 overall in 2016-17 (49th in Yahoo). But he was limited to 63 games last season and bounced around the lineup for Minnesota, leading to a sizable dip in points per game (0.70 to 0.51). If Niederreiter (12.0 shooting percentage in 452 NHL games) sticks on the top line and first power play with Eric Staal (42 goals last season, tied for fourth in the NHL), the Switzerland native could score 30 goals and have 20 power-play points for the first time in his NHL career. After an impressive showing at the 2018 IIHF World Championship (nine points in 10 games), Niederreiter is a potential fantasy steal in the final rounds of your draft, especially in hits leagues (1.7 per game in NHL career).

Video: MIN@ARI: Niederreiter buries rebound for PPG


Projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Jason Zucker

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Jordan Greenway -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Charlie Coyle

Marcus Foligno -- Eric Fehr -- Luke Kunin

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Gustav Olofsson -- Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock / Andrew Hammond

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