With a new season nearly upon us, players on every team will be hitting career milestones, and the Minnesota Wild are no different. Almost every player on the roster will likely hit a milestone at some point during this season, whether it be goals, games, or points. Kirill Kaprizov is at the top of the list, which is no surprise, but Marc-André Fleury is right alongside him with milestones of his own and will etch his name in the history books this season.
We’ll break down as many milestones as possible in this article and start with the smaller ones first, working our way up to the big ones. Most of the smaller ones will be games played related, but regardless, players hitting milestones is typically a good thing and something to look forward to. The first milestone up for mention involves a player they hope rises to the occasion this season.
Wild’s Minor Milestones
We’ll start with the Wild’s next hopeful rising star, Marco Rossi, and while he does have his first assist, which was his first point, he has yet to score his first goal. He’s played in 21 career NHL games over two seasons and has only registered a single point but also 18 shots on goal. He will score his first goal this coming season; it’ll just be a matter of when, and everyone will be waiting for that moment.
Following the topic of firsts, Brock Faber has already played two NHL regular season games and six playoff games, and although he got very close, he has zero points. He’ll be looking at hitting three milestones this season, all of them firsts, in his first goal scored, assist tallied, and point registered. He’s a defenseman so the goal may come second to the assist, but like Rossi, it’ll be exciting when it does.
The next two milestones are from two different players, but one of the milestones is the same for both. That shared milestone is 200 career games played, and Brandon Duhaime and Matt Boldy will likely reach that threshold. That milestone is the only one on Duhaime’s season list, but Boldy has another, and that’s hitting 50 career goals. It may seem minor, but it could be a big self-confidence booster for Boldy and help keep his scoring heading in the right direction.
Wild’s In-Between Milestones
This section will be for the milestones that are slightly higher than minor but not major; we’ll also throw in the far-reaching but could happen this season’s milestones. Frédérick Gaudreau has one milestone on his list, and that’s hitting 300 games; following that same category, Jon Merrill will have the chance to hit 600 career games played this season. His milestone may be a little harder to come by because he’ll likely have to fight for his spot, which could affect his games played.
Next up are four players with the same milestone up for grabs this season, and that is hitting 300 career points. Patrick Maroon and Marcus Foligno can hit that milestone this season, as well as Kirill Kaprizov and Ryan Hartman. Hartman’s may be a long shot since he needs at least 67 points to hit that mark. Kaprizov should have no problem hitting that as long as he can replicate what he’s done the last couple of seasons; he’ll also be looking at hitting his first 50-goal season.
Finally, to wrap up this section is goaltender Filip Gustavsson and his chance to reach 50 career wins. He’s just 18 wins away from that number, and after last season, he should also have no issues hitting that mark.
Wild’s Major Milestones
It’s great how many players the Wild have who are facing the chance to reach major career milestones. The first player is Joel Eriksson Ek; if he can stay healthy, he has the chance to hit the 500 career games mark and his 100th career goal, which is just eight quick goals away. Next up are four players who could hit 800 games this season, and some of these players have already been mentioned earlier in this article.
Latest News & Highlights
Those two players are Foligno and Maroon. Both can hit 800 career games, but it could be difficult if they don’t stay healthy. Foligno has to play at least 57 games and Maroon at least 71 games, respectively. That leaves the third player to reach this mark in Jonas Brodin, and while he doesn’t have any other big milestones this season, 800 games is very impressive, and he deserves to be recognized for it. Finally, Mats Zuccarello has the ability to play 800 career games as well this season, and that’s just the first in a list of major milestones for him.
Continuing with Zuccarello, he has the chance to reach 200 career goals, 400 career assists, and 600 career points. These will likely be reached with the help of his linemates Kaprizov and Hartman. The next two players can reach 900 career games played this season, but again, if they stay healthy. It shouldn’t be a problem for Jared Spurgeon, but Marcus Johansson will really have to play it safe to reach it, but it can be done.
While both of these players share one milestone in common, they also have separate chances and deal with points. Spurgeon has the ability to reach 400 career points, while Johansson has the chance to hit 500 points respectively. That leaves two players with some big milestones to reach this season. The first is Alex Goligoski, who’s already reached 1,000 games played but can hit 1,050 games and 500 points this season.
The final player on this list is for sure a Hall of Fame candidate when he retires, and everyone knows that is Marc-André Fleury, better known to most fans as “Flower.” He has two major milestones that he is very likely to hit this season, even as a backup goaltender, with the first being 1,000 games played. This is something very hard to do as a goaltender. The second is not only a personal milestone but an NHL historical one, and that is 552 career wins. This would overtake Patrick Roy for second all-time in career wins in NHL history for goaltenders. He’s just eight wins away, and everyone’s eyes will be on Fleury when he hits that record, as it’s very well-deserved.
Wild Are a Milestone Team
With how many players the Wild have who can reach career milestones, it will be a fun season. It’s always exciting when players hit milestones, not only for them personally, but it also boosts the team. Hopefully, every player can hit their respective milestones, as that will equal success for the team in terms of wins as well.