MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Wild opens the 2021-22 regular season on the road out west Friday night, at the Anaheim Ducks.
The Wild on Tuesday announced its 22-player opening night roster. The current roster features 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.
This year will mark a new era for Minnesota Wild fans. The team will take the ice without veterans Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. General Manager Bill Guerin bought out the remaining four years on both of their contracts. Parise and Suter spent nine seasons with the Wild, each signing identical 13-year, $98 million contracts in July of 2012.
The big moves for the front office this offseason, and the top priorities, were bringing back Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov. The Wild brought back Fiala on a one-year deal via arbitration, and singed Kaprizov to a five-year, $45 million deal to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history, and one of the highest-paid forwards in the NHL. Kaprizov won the Calder Trophy last year with 27 goals, and 51 points, both Wild franchise records for rookies.
The forwards include Nico Sturm, Joel Erikkson Ek, Rem Pitlick, Marcus Foligno, Jordan Greenway, Brandon Duhaime, Fiala, Nick Bjugstad, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman, Victor Rask, Frederick Gaudreau and Kaprizov.
The defensemen are Jon Merrill, Jordie Benn, Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin, Dmitry Kulikov, Jared Spurgeon and Alex Goligoski.
The goaltenders are Cam Talbot, and Kaap Kahkonen.
The Wild was hoping to have top draft picks Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi on the opening day roster. Boldy suffered an injury in the preseason that will have him out four to six weeks. Rossi, who was in training camp after battling COVID-19 and a heart condition last year, was assigned to the Iowa Wild.
The Wild opens the season Friday at Anaheim and Saturday at the L.A. Kings. The home opener is set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 against the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center.