Wild Gameday Preview: Dallas Stars – 09/29/2022

Preseason action is in full swing as the Minnesota Wild suit up against the Dallas Stars tonight for their third preseason game. The Wild went 2-0 against the Colorado Avalanche earlier this week, while the Stars have split their games so far with a loss to the St. Louis Blues and an OT win against the Arizona Coyotes. This is the first of two meetings between these two teams this preseason, with the second game coming on Oct 8th.

Wild Projected Lines

The third preseason game means a third completely different lineup. Tonight’s roster features the preseason premier of veterans Mat Zuccarello, Jonas Brodin, and Jared Spurgeon, as well as being heavily focused on players likely found with the Iowa Wild, such as Mason Shaw and Mitchell Chaffee.

Jost – Steel – Zuccarello
Beckman – Rossi – Petan
Hentges – Shaw – Chaffee
Baddock – Giroux – Cramarossa

Brodin – Spurgeon
Middleton – Addison
O’Rourke – Sustr

Wallstedt – McIntyre

A lot of interesting notes about this lineup, the most important being that the Tyson Jost and Sam Steel connection from the previous game has once again earned first-line privileges, only this time with Zuccarello on the right wing. Marco Rossi will slot into the second line with Adam Beckman and Nic Petan in a trio of players fighting for that elusive roster spot. We get our first look at the new pairing of Brodin and Spurgeon, as well as a very interesting pairing of Jake Middleton and Calen Addison in what may be the second pairing of the future.

Related: Wild’s Stars & Style Leading to More Nationally Televised Games

For the fans out there clamoring for more Jesper Wallstedt (that includes me), tonight qualifies as a must-watch as the number one goaltending prospect is slated to play the entire game. That is three full periods of Wallstedt in a Wild sweater that you do not want to miss.

Lines Hold Potential Long-Term Groupings

Two players on the top line have a lot to prove, and so far, they are well on their way. In the previous game against the Avalanche, both Steel and Jost showed up in a big way, and they need a similar result tonight. These are two players who have the experience and the talent, but they just need to put it all together. A veteran player and skilled puck-mover in Zuccarello may improve this line in comparison to when Matt Boldy was the third component two nights ago. Should this trio work out, is it possible we see this line in the regular season and Boldy on the first line with Kirill Kaprizov? Tonight’s performance may determine that.

Matt Boldy Minnesota Wild
Matt Boldy, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It is no doubt strange for Wild fans to see Brodin and Spurgeon on the top pairing together, but should these two be able to develop some chemistry, it would give the Wild a deadly top pairing. Both defensemen are extremely talented, very underrated by the rest of the NHL, and may have an opportunity this season to really show otherwise. It will also be interesting to see if Spurgeon gains back his usual first-line power play privileges from Addison.

Speaking of Addison, the second pairing also adds a little extra spice to the defense as rumors are once again swirling around long-time Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. If Dumba were to be traded or let go as a free agent at the end of this year, Middleton and Addison are likely to find themselves paired up long-term.

Dallas Players to Watch For

The Stars will bring a few of their own new lines against the Wild tonight. Miro Heiskanen will make his preseason debut beside the young defenceman Nils Lundkvist, who was acquired from the New York Rangers earlier this Month

The Stars’ forward lines are shaping up to be loaded with their top prospects and a few key veterans mixed in for good measure. Their 2021 first-round pick Wyatt Johnston will find himself on the top line with Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov, followed closely by 2018 13th overall pick Ty Dellandrea on the second line. Their 2020 first-rounder Mavrik Bourque will be centering for veterans Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski down on the third line, and their fourth line will house youngster Logan Stankoven.

*Fans can catch the game tonight on Bally Sports North at 7:00 pm CT

Sign up for our regular 'Wild Newsletter' for all the latest.

Latest News & Highlights