1. Who will be their No. 1 center?
Marco Rossi, who was selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, could be the Wild’s No. 1 center in the future, but even if he makes the team in training camp, he probably won’t center the top line to start.
At the moment, it appears Marcus Johansson Jersey will get the first shot at the job after being acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres for Eric Staal Jersey on Sept. 16. Johansson has played mostly wing during his 10 NHL seasons but played some center last season with Buffalo and at the start of his career with the Washington Capitals.
Other options include Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey, Nick Bonino Jersey (acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators on Oct. 7), Nick Bjugstad Jersey (acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sept. 11) and Victor Rask Jersey.
“I think it’s going work out well,” general manager Bill Guerin said. “I think we’re deeper in that position right now. We have some guys that maybe aren’t No. 1 centers in that traditional sense, but I think they’re guys we can put on the ice and they can play against anybody.”
2. Will Matt Dumba Jersey be traded before the season is over?
The Wild plan to begin the season with Dumba as part of an enviable top-four defensemen group that includes Ryan Suter Jersey, Jared Spurgeon Jersey and Jonas Brodin Jersey. But after Brodin signed a seven-year contract extension on Sept. 15, Minnesota has him, Suter and Spurgeon each under contract for at least five more seasons, meaning it might not be able to protect Dumba for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken.
In that case, the Wild might have to make a decision before the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline about whether they should hold on to Dumba, who has three seasons left on his contract, or wait until after the season and try to trade him before the expansion draft.
31 in 31: Minnesota Wild
07:42 • November 26th, 2020
3. Who will be their captain?
Minnesota is without a captain after deciding not to re-sign center Mikko Koivu Jersey, who then signed a one-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 10. Guerin said the Wild will name a replacement before the season starts.
Suter and forward Zach Parise Jersey, who have each been an alternate captain the past eight seasons, are candidates to replace Koivu, as is Spurgeon. Marcus Foligno Jersey and Kevin Fiala Jersey are also in the mix. Dumba would probably be a candidate if his future wasn’t uncertain.
“There’s plenty of candidates, and I think whoever it is they’ll have the support of all the other guys, all the other veterans.” Parise said. “Regardless of who it is, I think it will be a good collective group supporting each other. That’s what’s most important.”