The bottom line with the Minnesota Wild is that a lot of players have to overachieve this season if they are going to be successful.
Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter will enter the year with high expectations, of course, and should perform well under pressure. Younger players like Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Jonas Brodin are going to get big minutes, meaning five players in their early 20s will be expected to carry the team in some capacity.
There is also some concern as to how well older players like Niklas Backstrom, Dany Heatley and Matt Cooke will hold up throughout the year. Backstrom suffered a fatigue-related injury at the end of the season last year, Heatley hasn’t been the same since his days with the Ottawa Senators and Cooke is, at the very least, a little volatile on the ice.
The following is not a complete list of every player on the ice, but simply the ones most likely to overachieve or underachieve next season.