The Minnesota Wild open their 2015-16 season Thursday night in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.
No player was more key to Minnesota's run to the playoffs than goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who posted a 29-7-2 record with Minnesota after he was traded to the Wild in January. During that stretch, Dubnyk had a 1.78 goals against average and a .936 save percentage.
His play won him the Masterton Trophy, and made him a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. It also helped him land some security for the first time in his NHL career.
The Wild rewarded Dubnyk with a six-year, $26 million contract, hoping to provide themselves with some security in net.
But can the netminder put together another year like he did to finish 2015?
It cost the Wild just a third-round pick to bring Dubnyk to Minnesota from Phoenix. Prior to that he had bounced around from Edmonton to Nashville, to Montreal's minor leagues, to Arizona.
According to 1500 ESPN, coach Mike Yeo believes that Dubnyk can be the security in net that Minnesota has needed.
"He's had a good camp," Yeo told the station. "I saw with him a lot of the things that we saw last year. Obviously he's a big guy, and not all guys play big in the net. He's played very big in the net."
As for Dubnyk himself, while the new contract gave him the security, he continued to work hard over the summer.
"I worked on a lot of things that I learned last year, and kind of just tried to learn a little more in the summer," Dubnyk said. "I feel like a completely different person than I did going into the season last year, so hopefully I can continue to make strides forward.
Even with the new deal and success though, Dubnyk knows the expectations are raised for the team this year.
"There's no reason for complacency," Dubnyk told the Pioneer Press. "Getting to the playoffs last year, we learned what we can do as a group. I just want to win the Stanley Cup. So, there's no reason to be complacent."