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Minnesota Wild: 3 things to watch with Bruce Boudreau running the show

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The Minnesota Wild are getting closer to their full squad as training camp continued on Monday.

Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula donned their Wild practice uniforms for the first time under new coach Bruce Boudreau.

That group returned from a disappointing showing at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, and now begin preparing for the grind of an NHL season.

How will Boudreau set the lines?

Boudreau wasn't revealing anything about his new alignments when he talked with reporters Monday.

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Charlie Coyle will center the first line against Buffalo for Monday night's preseason opener with Jason Zucker and Chris Stewart alongside.

Even though Coyle has been working almost exclusively at center so far, the Pioneer Press reports Boudreau will likely use him as a wing this year, once everyone is back.

Expect a faster tempo

The Wild have traditionally been a defensive team. However, Boudreau has had success by winning with an offense-oriented approach, so expect to see the Wild play faster this year.

https://twitter.com/mnwild/status/780438788896088068

"We want to ramp it up as quick as we can," Boudreau said over the weekend. "We want to have a lot of pace in our practice, even though (in training camp) it's a real mixture because we have to teach at the same time. It's not going to be like a practice in December, but we don't want anything slow. We want a lot of moving parts in practice."

New faces could contribute

There are several new faces that could contribute to helping the Wild this season.

Eric Staal is the first one that comes to mind after signing a three-year, $10.5 million deal to come to Minnesota. He scored 13 goals and tallied 26 assists last season for Carolina and the New York Rangers.

Stewart is also back and will compete for a spot at wing. Tyler Graovac missed most of last season with an injury, and could help at center as he hopes to return to form.

There are a couple of prospects worth keeping your eyes on as well. FOX Sports North highlights both Joel Ericksson Ek and Alex Tuch as a couple recent top picks who could find themselves skating in Minnesota this year.

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