24-Year-Old Defenseman – Minnesota Wild
Jonas Brodin Contract Information:
Brodin signed a six-year extension with the Wild in October of 2014.
Brodin was protected by the Wild ahead of the expansion draft, the Star Tribune reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While he logs heavy minutes, Brodin only managed seven points in 68 regular-season games this past year and has turned into a dynamic defensive defenseman. Brodin may join the rush on occasion, but he's seen now as a shut-down guy who rarely shoots the puck.
After setting career highs in goals and points the season prior, Brodin took a step backward in 2014-15. In 71 games, he scored three goals and added 14 assists while posting a plus-21 rating. As a top-pairing defenseman, the Wild rarely need to worry about replacing Brodin on the penalty kill, as he racked up just eight PIM last season. That allowed him to finish with a personal best of more than 24 minutes of average ice time skating alongside the ultimate workhorse in defensive partner Ryan Suter. Plagued by an incredibly poor shooting percentage (3.2 percent), Brodin will look to bounce back closer to the 10.8 percent rate he shot at in 2013-14. Just 22 years old, Brodin has plenty of room to grow and is already one of the top shutdown defenders in the Western Conference, though his limited offensive range to date holds down his fantasy upside.
Brodin opened last season by creating offense and it looked like he was poised to take a giant step forward from his rookie year. Instead, he kind of went sideways when he was forced into more difficult situations -- after all, he wasn't always under the protective wing of Ryan Suter like he was his first season. Brodin will again shoulder increased responsibility and should slowly improve his scoring totals this season. But don't expect more than 30-35 points.
Brodin finished fourth in the Calder Trophy voting, made the All-Rookie team and took a spot next to Ryan Suter as the team's top defensemen, which he may not relinquish for years. The 10th overall draft pick in 2011 began the season in the AHL where he broke his collar bone and missed nearly three months. A few weeks into the NHL season and then healthy, Brodin was called up and never looked back, averaging more than 23 minutes per game of ice time. He put up solid defensive stats (18 takeaways and 60 blocked shots), but had just 11 points. He was the youngest defenseman in the league last season, so his offensive game will likely improve, and he has the talent to take a big leap. He could easily be the next Ryan Suter.
Brodin is Minny's top prospect on the blue line and rightfully so. He suited up against men in the Elitserien -- and held his own -- before his 18th birthday. He's great one-on-one, is exceptional on his skates and plays a calm, cool and collected control game. Yes, just like the great Niklas Lidstrom. Now, we're not saying he's the next Nik -- we may never see another player like him. But Brodin has tremendous talent and at worst, he'll be a top shutdown specialist in the NHL. However, we're convinced there's a lot more just under the surface and he'll some day dominate at both ends of the ice. Not unlike Ryan Suter. Yep -- we said that out loud. He should be in the land of frozen lakes in 2013-14.
Minnesota gave consideration to its future blue line by selecting Brodin with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Listed at 6-foot and 172 pounds, this Swedish prospect won't be throwing anyone around the ice but he is a fluid skater with hockey smarts. The Wild secured Brodin's services this past July by getting his signature on a three-year, entry-level contract, though the 18-year-old will look to get more playing time with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League this season.