As part of NHL.com’s 31 in 31 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from the Minnesota Wild. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.
Kevin Fiala, LW/RW (NHL.com rank: 85) — The 24-year-old set an NHL career high in points (54 in 64 games) to lead the Wild last season, and he tied his career high in goals (23) despite playing 16 fewer games than in 2017-18 (when he scored 23 goals in 80 games with the Nashville Predators). Fiala was third in scoring in the NHL from Feb. 4 to the end of the regular season (26 points in 18 games), behind New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (32 points in 19 games) and Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (27 in 19). Fiala also scored four points (three goals, one assist) in four postseason games, indicating he could be close to a point-per-game player this season and finish among the fantasy top 75 overall.
Kirill Kaprizov, LW/RW (107) — The 23-year-old rookie joins the Wild after leading the Kontinental Hockey League in goals in each of the past two seasons for CSKA Moscow; he scored 33 goals in 57 games last season and 30 in 57 games in 2018-19. Kaprizov is likely to play in Minnesota’s top six and on the first power play upon arrival, bringing exposure to top returning scorers Fiala, defenseman Ryan Suter (48 points in 69 games last season) and left wing Zach Parise (46 in 69). Kaprizov has 30-goal potential and should be attainable multiple rounds after top-ranked rookie Alexis Lafreniere of the New York Rangers (94th in NHL.com’s rankings).
Ryan Suter, D (153) — One of the most valuable fantasy defensemen in the NHL last season, Suter was ninth at the position in points, eighth in even-strength points (30), and tied for 12th in power-play points (18). The 35-year-old plays on the top defense pair with Jared Spurgeon (12 goals; T-11th at position) and the first power play, and could feasibly set an NHL career high in points (has scored 51 twice) this season, especially if Fiala and Kaprizov live up to the fantasy hype.
Matt Dumba, D (171) — The 26-year-old is a fantasy bounce-back candidate after scoring 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 69 games last season. Dumba’s shooting percentage last season (3.6 percent) should improve (NHL career average: 7.6), and his shots on goal volume (2.4 per game; second on Minnesota behind Fiala’s 2.7) and hits coverage (1.4 per game) last season give him a high fantasy floor.
Zach Parise, LW (178) — He led the Wild in goals in each of the past two seasons (28 in 2018-19 and 25 in 2019-20) and is a staple on the first power play, tying Fiala and Suter for Minnesota’s lead with 18 PPP last season. At 36 years old, Parise is still a reliable fantasy asset, regardless of linemates, and is worth selecting in the later rounds of a non-keeper draft.
Cam Talbot, G (186) — Expected to be Minnesota’s No. 1 goalie after signing a three-year contract on Oct. 9, Talbot had a strong save percentage last season (.919 in 26 games) with the Calgary Flames and performed well as their starter in the postseason (.924 in 10 games). He is a potential deep fantasy sleeper with the support of Minnesota’s strong top two defense pairs (Suter with Spurgeon; Dumba with Jonas Brodin) and has a high ceiling (NHL career-high 42 wins with the Oilers in 2016-17).
Other players to consider in late rounds or off waiver wire: Jared Spurgeon, D (196); Marcus Johansson, C/LW; Nick Bonino, C; Nick Bjugstad, C/RW; Marco Rossi, C
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