3 Upgrades Minnesota Wild Need In The New Year

The Minnesota Wild got that new coach boost, but that has worn off. They are not only struggling now, a number of key players are out of the lineup. With how weak the Western Conference is and the system they play in, the team is not out of the race just yet. They sit at .500, but the Wild also need some help, whether their lineup is injured right now or not.

Bottom-6 Winger

The Wild currently have Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov, Marcus Foligno, and Vinni Lettieri out of the lineup with injuries. While two of them are considered day-to-day, I also don't think Lettieri is a top option for a playoff hopeful considering he's split time between the NHL and AHL the past two seasons. While the Wild have three players in the lineup who have only played three games this season, their bottom-six wasn't exactly strong to begin with. There's not a lot of money to work with, but you can find good players for cheap.

Goalie Depth

With Filip Gustavsson going down to injury while he was being leaned on more in net for the Wild, it exposes the lack of depth the team has in net. Yes, Marc-Andre-Fleury is capable of starting, but he's also pushing 40 and his numbers aren't great this season. Called up to fill the hole was Zane McIntyre. The 31-year-old has eight total NHL games in his career, coming in 2016-17, and has a .884 SV% in the AHL this season. There are some options around the league for cheap that are much better than what they have. The Wild also don't want to rush Jesper Wallstedt ahead of schedule.

Top-4 Defenseman

The Wild lost two top-four defenseman in the offseason, but without much money, couldn't address the issue. Luckily, Brock Faber has emerged as a great young defenseman and a top-4 option for the team. But unfortunately, Jonas Brodin is out with an injury and considered week-to-week. Both Jacob Middleton and Alex Goligoski are in the top-four right now. Ideally, the Wild would have both of them below that. If the team can find someone to help out and be a better option, they should.

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