The countdown to hockey season continues, and so do our Minnesota Wild predictions and previews. Today, Jason Pominville is the focus.
Previous previews: Mikko Koivu, Jonas Brodin, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Suter, Charlie Coyle, Thomas Vanek
Last season didn’t exactly start off the greatest for the Minnesota Wild. The team struggled to produce early on and every goal scored seemed like a precious gift. No player was spared these offensive struggles. Yet somehow, Jason Pominville managed to stay reliable day in and day out for the Wild.
Although Pominville’s end-of-season stats were not as impressive as they have been in years past, the 32-year-old right wing managed to accomplish quite a bit considering his team’s poor play for a good chunk of the season. Pominville ended the season with the fifth-most goals on the team (18) and the second-most points (54), behind only Zach Parise. He also contributed the second-most points in the playoffs, a time when many Minnesota Wild players tend to disappear.
On top of all that, Pominville also found a way to play all 82 games, despite the Wild’s illness- and injury-plagued season. He and Charlie Coyle were the only two players on the team to play all 82 games. That kind of work ethic and dependability is a huge plus for Minnesota.
Last season was far from Pominville’s best, but it was pretty solid considering the Wild’s roller-coaster season.
2014-15 Regular Season Stats
Games played: 82 Goals: 18 Assists: 36 Points: 54 +/-: 9
So 2014-15 wasn’t exactly a career year for Pominville, but last year wasn’t really the best for any member of the Wild. The season had its ups and downs, but one good thing definitely came out of the last few months of hockey: The Parise-Granlund-Pominville line.
After coach Mike Yeo put these three together, things started to take off, especially for Pominville. By the end of the season, the combination of Granlund, Parise and Pominville was the ninth-most productive line in the NHL, producing 26 goals over the course of 2014-15. Clearly these guys have some chemistry on the ice.
It’s apparent these three play well when they’re on the ice at the same time, and I’m sure Yeo realizes that, as well. If they stay together during the 2015-16 season, this line has the potential to do amazing things, and Pominville has the potential to be a 30-plus goal scorer again.
This year, Pominville shouldn’t need time to adjust to new linemates. That means this line should be ready to go on Oct. 8, and Pominville should have a much more productive season than last year.
Although his season in 2014-15 was fine, he can be better. Pominville was brought to Minnesota because he has a history of being a consistent goal scorer, and he’s already demonstrated he’s more than capable of putting up big numbers with the Wild. If he starts out 2015-16 healthy and well-prepared to play alongside Parise and Granlund, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to score 25-plus goals this season.