Jared Spurgeon is looking for the Minnesota Wild to be a more dynamic, skilled and quicker team this season than they have been in the past several seasons.
Spurgeon, a 31-year-old defenseman named Minnesota’s new captain Sunday, joined the NHL @TheRink podcast Thursday and spoke to co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke about why he thinks the Wild will be a more creative and dangerous team this season.
“With [coach] Dean [Evason] coming in, he’s implementing a new system where there is more freedom, a bit of a faster-pace system than we played in the past,” Spurgeon said. “He’s giving guys the freedom to use their skill and execute, but at the same time if you need to dump a puck in, he expects you to do that as well.
“I think we have a lot of options this year… guys that have more skill than we’ve had in the past, some younger guys coming in with more speed. We’re looking forward to that.”
Spurgeon spoke specifically about 23-year-old rookie forward Kirill Kaprizov as one of the dynamic players new to the Wild this season.
“He’s excited to play and to be here,” Spurgeon said. “He works extremely hard and he’s not afraid to get into the battles, but I think what impresses me most is his vision. He always seems to know where guys are on the ice and he is very deceptive with the plays he’s making, little moves to get shots off. When he does shoot, he has a very, very hard shot and accurate shot. So far he’s looked great.”
Brian Boucher from NBC Sports also joined the podcast.
The former NHL goalie shared some preseason analysis about the rivalries that might be created this season, goaltending question marks and battles across the NHL, changes various teams have made, Stanley Cup contenders and more.
Rosen and Roarke end the podcast with their first edition of the Trophy Tracker, giving predictions and analysis for who they think will win the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Calder Trophy and Jack Adams Award.
The podcast is free, and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @TheRink