26-Year-Old Defenseman – Minnesota Wild
Jared Spurgeon Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $20.75 million contract extension with the Wild in December of 2015.
Spurgeon dealt with a nagging upper-body injury for much of the 2015-16 season, per Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, but isn't expected to require surgery, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Spurgeon's star is on the rise, what with career-high totals last season in goals (five), assists (21), plus/minus (plus-15), penalty minutes (16), and average time on ice (22:38). He accomplished all of that in just 67 games last season, and then followed up with three goals and three assists in 13 playoff games. He's a smaller defender, but is in line to get some serious minutes in the top four. Thirty points are within reach.
Spurgeon is a strong passer who saw his output on offense increase last season with 15 points in 39 games. He became a stalwart on the man advantage, averaging 3:31 power play minutes per game and scored seven points there. At age 23, he could continue to improve, as he'll get plenty of minutes on one of Minnesota's top two blue line pairings. He's a real fantasy sleeper.
A slick-passer and undersized for your typical NHL defenseman, Spurgeon has potential to put up solid numbers from the Minnesota blue line. He notched 23 points in 70 games last year and will turn just 23 in November. He won't score many goals, but he has the chance to challenge 30 points this season should he -- and not Tom Gilbert -- settle in on Minnesota's top power play unit opposite Ryan Suter. Follow them in camp and target Spurgeon in the later rounds of deep leagues. Just don't expect him to anchor your roster's defensive scoring.
Last season Minnesota gave the feisty Spurgeon a chance to play in the NHL, where he tallied 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in 53 games as a rookie. The team also tested him out on the man advantage, with the 21-year-old averaging 1:28 of power-play ice time that same year. One would think that Spurgeon is at a disadvantage because of his diminutive frame – he's only 5-foot-9, 185 pounds – but he compensates with good vision and a lot of energy. It will be fun to see how Spurgeon progresses in the NHL, though chances are he'll be available on the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues in 2011-12.