This may be the greatest picture never used here on Hockey Wilderness.
The #SignBrodziak campaign was one of the few successes of this miserable season. When a third line center scores the second most goals on the team, it is both impressive and depressing. Impressive on an individual level, absolutely depressing in that it should just not be that way.
Kyle Brodziak stepped up for the Wild, as he has done repeatedly. He is a leader on and off the ice, he is a go to guy for media, he relishes the role of grinder, and yet can step onto a scoring line and look like he belongs. He is the perfect chameleon, and was rewarded with a three year deal because of it. The fact that the Wild took the Oilers for Brodziak AND a pick that became Darcy Kuemper?
Could Brodziak get the highest grades on the team? You can all but count on it.
|2011 - Kyle Brodziak||82||22||22||44||-15||66||5||0||0||160|
Nathan - MVP. #SignBrodziak. This is the guy I've been waiting to see since he was signed out of Edmonton. This is probably the top end of his production, and isn't likely to ever best these numbers, but Brodziak is the kind of player every team needs. He will step in on all four lines and not miss a beat. He will play in every aspect of the game, provide playmaking, finishing, win faceoffs, forechecking, and tight defense.
Bryan - Second on the team in goals, tied for second in points. One of just three players to play all 82 games. Brodziak is the prototypical fan favorite in Minnesota. Hard working (Sorry Tom), does exactly what he asked to do, fits any line, any role. There isn't much else to say. The guy's a workhorse and the consummate professional. Best player on the team this season.
Jesse-Brodziak is one of the few bright spots the Wild had this year. K-Brod set career highs in goals, points, shots, and shooting percentage. Unfortunately, he also set a career low in +/-. While not the most telling stat, a -15 is pretty ugly to look at for a defensive center. You would think that setting a career high in points would help the +/-, but that wasn't the case this year. A minor deduction, but like I said, not the most telling of stats.
Overall, a very good year for Kyle, who definitely earned that 3-year extension and nice raise in pay. Now Wild fans just have to cross their fingers and hope it wasn't Brodziak playing for a new contract.
JS- For all intents and purposes, Kyle Brodziak is the Wild's MVP for the 2011-2012 season. He was the poor man's Koivu. He did it all, played everywhere and did it well, although not excellent like Koivu. He co-led the team lead in goals with noted sniper Dany Heatley two weeks ago despite playing mostly with 3rd/4th line and AHL players. Career year for this guy and it earned him a brand new contract as Fletcher #signedBrodziak and it turned out to be a very good deal. He's at his best when playing on the third line and I can't think of a better player to play in that spot.
He can play anywhere, but a full year on the third line would probably result in another career year next season if you ask me. Great on the penalty kill, decent on the powerplay when needed, good on the faceoff circle, unmatched work ethic and determination. If you ask me, there's assistant captain material here. The Oilers have to be kicking themselves over moving Brodziak, who has won the title of Best Trade Ever.