Commentary

Sheppard leads prospect flock

Little-used center could flourish in new role, system

Originally Published: August 12, 2009
By Tom Awad and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus/ESPN The Magazine

Using the newly debuted projection system of Puck Prospectus, VUKOTA, Insider takes the temperature of players on every NHL team, moving deeper into the Northwest Division on Wednesday with the Wild.

Summer Skate -- Minnesota Wild


Under new head coach Todd Richards, the Wild are promising a more up-tempo style than the stifling defensive play that has been their hallmark for nine seasons under Jacques Lemaire. With the addition of Martin Havlat, the Wild's guns will now be able to show their mettle. However, they will have to continue the solid defensive play that has been their trademark and continue to receive elite goaltending from Niklas Backstrom in order to return to the playoffs.

To see which player could soar, which could sink and which could be a potential impact prospect, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.

ALSO SEE