NHL Power Rankings Week One: Capitals, Lightning, Predators, And Ducks Are Favorites

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Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: #11 – Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild should once again be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. A Stanley Cup run is not out of the question.

STRENGTHS: The Wild have an impressive core of players. Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon form one of the best first pairings in the NHL. Suter’s scoring dropped, but he could have a bounce-back year. Matthew Dumba is a 21-year-old blue-liner who could be a difference maker for the blue line.

Devan Dubnyk got re-signed by the Wild. He was a huge reason that they were able to make the playoffs. The Wild will be counting on him to continue to give them at worst league average goaltending. He could face some regression, but he should still be a very solid goaltender at worst.

The Wild have also been blessed with forward depth. Zach Parise is one of the best forwards in the NHL. He had a rough personal life last season as his father passed away. Parise showed incredible strength and character by fighting through that tragic loss to lead his team to the second round of the NHL playoffs. Jason Pominville had a bit of a down year but still had a very solid season. I’d expect one of the most underrated forwards in the NHL to have a bounce back year.

WEAKNESSES: The Wild lack elite talent. They have a bunch of very solid players, but every Stanley Cup team needs elite talent. They also don’t really have a Plan B in case Dubnyk’s 2014-15 season was just a fluke.

OUTLOOK: They’ll be a tough team to beat in the playoffs.

Next: #10