clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Minnesota Wild Final Season Grades: Right D (Staff Writers Grades)


Good day, Wilderness! I am now done with my freshman year of college at the University of St. Thomas, and as of yesterday, I am now back at home in Wisconsin for the summer. Man, does it feel so good. As much as I'm missing Minnesota already, it feels great to be back home in America's Dairyland. With that out of the way, let's how how the staff writers here at the Wilderness graded our other set of defensemen.

Dan Czarnecki (WIMinnesotaWildFan)

Jonas Brodin: A+

This kid was just outstanding for his first year in the NHL. He really knew how to block shots, and he even managed to score 2 goals, which you wouldn't think a rookie defenseman on his NHL debut would do. Someone get this kid to sign a contract with the Wild! He's amazing!

Tom Gilbert: C-

He had a good start, but then just had a giant downward spiral for the last part of the season. Can he learn from this and stay hot all next season? We'll just have to wait and see.

Nate Prosser: F

Just terrible. 'Nuff said.

Jared Spurgeon: B+

Spurgeon's season was pretty decent this year. He played a good physical game, despite his 5'9" stature, and has made impressive bounds on the PP. Despite the fact that he's a RFA, I still see him being in a good spot on next year's Wild roster.

Aaron Holm (The Nooge)

Jonas Brodin: B+

"My name is Jonas, I'm carrying the wheel"

Jonas Brodin had a very impressive rookie season on the Wild's blue line. Snubbed by the writers for a Calder nomination, but who needs that anyway when Weezer released a song about you when you were just 10 months old. The kid is a stud, and if this is how he looks now, imagine what he can grow into in the coming seasons.

Jared Spurgeon: B-

Jared had his moments this season where you could really see a bright future ahead of him. He did seem to struggle early but turned his game around and with a little help on his line he should solidify his spot on the Wild's Defense. His 15 points (5g/10a) was 2nd for Wild blue liners, and 4 of his 5 goals in the regular season came on the power play.

Tom Gilbert: F

We pay 4 million a year for this? Get him out of here …

Nate Prosser: C

The most interchangeable part in the Wild's blue line. Prosser saw limited time this season because, he doesn't bring a whole lot to the table really. Don't get me wrong, he puts in his work. Although he put up no points in the regular season, he was also a +4 behind that. So by the numbers, he doesn't give you a lot and you don't have to worry about him too much either.

Eric Burton

Jonas Brodin: A

Rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin was a nice surprise, a breath of fresh air this past season for the Minnesota Wild. Brodin also turned out to be a pretty good defenseman as well. Brodin should have been a Calder finalist, but was snubbed. The sky is the limit for Brodin and he should again see top four minutes for the Minnesota Wild next season.

Jared Spurgeon: B+

Jared Spurgeon might not be a big guy, but he plays a big role on the back end for the Minnesota Wild. Spurgeon is an offensive defenseman that helps the Wild get the puck out of the d-zone. In my opinion, Spurgeon doesn’t make a lot of the glaring mistakes in the defensive zone. I also wouldn’t call Spurgeon a turnover factory like his fellow defensemen Tom Gilbert and Justin Falk. Spurgeon is a keeper and I believe that he will only get better with experience.

Tom Gilbert: D

The former Wisconsin Badger Tom Gilbert is an utter disappointment in my opinion, that Wild are being cheated, he’s not worth the money he’s being paid. Gilbert is being paid a hefty four million a year to be a turnover factory and an unimpressive top-six defenseman. If I was a general manager for a day, he would be the first Wild player out of Minnesota; Justin Falk would be number two. The Wild should consider his four million dollar contract for an Amnesty buyout this summer as well. If they Wild could trade him for a bag of wood hockey sticks I would urge them to consider the deal. One positive is that he can’t play any worse than he did this season. Nowhere to go but up for Gilbert, I don’t think he can play any worse. Looking at the stats, in the plus/minus department, -11 is brutal.

Nate Prosser: incomplete

Meh! The former Colorado College Tiger Nate Prosser doesn’t really stick out in my mind as really impressing me or disappointing me. I need to see more to grade him and he spent the majority of his time in Houston this past season.

Tony Wiseau

Jonas Brodin: A+++++++++++++++++++++++++

What they all said. He's a magician, and the sooner we can lock this guy up, the better.

Tom Gilbert: C-

Gilbert had a hot start, and then really struggled for the last half of the season. His struggles and his salary have managed to play himself into potentially being on his way out of here, if not through trade, than an outright amnesty. He has some use, but on the whole is pretty underwhelming, and if he can be used to improve the team, then I'm very much for it.

Nate Prosser: D

Was bad. Wasn't really his fault.

Jared Spurgeon: B

Jared Spurgeon was no longer needed to play the top defensive pairing and top power play, and- what do you know?- he looked like a much better player than when he was in those roles they year before. His size will always be a limiting factor for him, but he still played a solid defensive game, getting more physical (especially for a 5'9" guy, maybe), and increased his PPG significantly for the third year in a row. He's now an RFA, but there's definitely a spot on this team for him next year.

Andrew Ferraro

Jonas Brodin: A-

During Aeros training camp, I called Houston PR guru Josh Fisher to get the scoop on the new kids. He told me about everyone and saved Brodin or last. "Oh, my God, wait 'til you see this kid. Well, when I finally did see him play, I knew he was only in Houston for as long as the lockout went on. He's the real deal and should have won the NHL's Calder award. Shame on the writers for not being more familiar with the league's rookies.

Jared Spurgeon: C

I think this kid's hit a plateau, and I hope he uses the summer to figure things out. Right now, he's just another guy. His offense went south, and he did not score a goal after the March 29 game in Dallas. That week, he was an incredible plus-6 in four games. After that, he was minus-9 with ZERO plus games until the clincher at Colorado. I know +/- isn't everything, but these numbers are not good.

Tom Gilbert: C-

The Wild got zero goals from Gilbert after he score three in the first three weeks or so. He finished the year with a plus-minus rating of minus-11 and was benchd for two road games at Vancouver and Detroit in the last third of the season. In April, he did chip in with a few assists, but so far, this has not been a good trade for the Wild.

Nate Prosser: D

Rode the pine for more than half the season and watched several guys fly by him on the depth chart. He did not contribute offensively at all and averaged just over 11 minutes per game this season. He was not good enough for Yeo to give him more than three games in a row after starting the season with four straight. Just add him to the list of Wild d-men that belong in the AHL.

Giles Ferrell

Jonas Brodin: A

I keep having to remind myself that Brodin was just 19 years old this year. He played like a 29 year old and was a rock on the top d-pairing with Ryan Suter (So when he is actually 29, its scary to think of how good he will be). Brodin should of been a finalist for the Calder Trophy, but was snubbed because of his stat line. If you watched the Wild at all, you would see that stats do not tell the whole story with Jonas Brodin.

Jared Spurgeon: C

All year, I kept wondering when I would notice Jared Spurgeon. I never noticed him. Spurgeon went on all year by not doing enough to say he played great, but he played well enough so you didnt say he played horribly. When Marco Scandella was called up for the playoffs, the pair clicked well (no surprise there), and you saw an improvement in Spurgeon's game. But overall, so-so season for Spurgeon.

Tom Gilbert: D

If the Wild can't use an amnesty buyout on Dany Heatley this summer (not cleared from his injury), Tom Gilbert could be receiving one. Gilbert had a dreadful season. He did register 13 points from the blueline (3rd among Wild defenseman), but finished the year a -11. He was a huge defensive liability. He would get caught running around in the defensive zone and many of those times, saw his chasing result in a opposition goal. If the Wild choose to amnesty Gilbert, I won't be disappointed.

Nate Prosser: F

Prosser was given his fair chance to be the 6th defenseman this year, but he could not make the most of it. He lacked the offensive presence and was a defensive liability too. He ended up splitting time with Justin Falk and Brett Clark as the last man in the lineup, and more times than none, was looked over by Mike Yeo. Look for Prosser to function in the same role on the team next year (Healthy scratch).