With players reporting to training camp by the end of the month, the current Minnesota Wild roster is beginning to take shape.
With the signings of veteran center Eric Staal and winger Chris Stewart in free agency, Bruce Boudreau has most of his starting lineup penciled in. Although the new coach does want to bring in some veterans at training camp, according to the Star Tribune.
In fact, the Wild announced on Friday that they are inviting Ryan Carter to training camp.
With Staal on the roster, the Wild have more depth at center. Early indications have Staal, Mikko Koviu and Erik Haula as the team’s top 3 centers entering the 2016-17 season.
The move allows Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund to open the season on the wing instead of at center.
Coyle has constantly flipped between center and wing for much of his four-year career.
Granlund, however, has mostly played center since debuting in 2013 but when moved to wing last season, he thrived in the role especially in the Wild’s playoff run last season.
Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher made his rounds at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday visiting with local media.
When asked where he believes Coyle and Granlund would start the season, the Wild’s GM said, “I think they’re both going to start on the wing,” according to Fletcher on 1500 ESPN.
“Bruce will make those decisions but, I think Granlund will potentially play right wing with maybe Nino and Koviu; you can have Charlie Coyle on right wing with Parise on left and Staal at center.”