Minnesota Wild on pace for plus/minus milestone

Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter is one of the team's leaders with a plus-26 rating.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Timely scoring and a dominant defense have the Minnesota Wild on pace to rewrite their record books.

Jason Zucker, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu now lead the league in plus/minus rating, and will also own the top five single-season ratings in franchise history at their current pace.

Plus/minus is a measure of a player’s effectiveness at even strength (5-on-5) and while shorthanded, with a “plus” representing a goal scored while that player is on the ice and a “minus” representing a goal allowed.

Suter, Zucker and Spurgeon are on track for a franchise record at plus-26, with Granlund and Koivu not far behind at plus-23.

NHL plus/minus leaders, 2016-17

Player Team GP G A PTS +/- ATOI
Jason Zucker Wild 43 12 17 29 26 14:20
Ryan Suter Wild 43 6 20 26 26 27:12:00
Jared Spurgeon Wild 39 6 15 21 26 23:49
Mikael Granlund Wild 43 10 26 36 23 19:04
Mikko Koivu Wild 43 13 19 32 23 19:33
Justin Schultz Penguins 43 7 23 30 22 18:49
David Savard Blue Jackets 43 2 10 12 21 21:37
T.J. Oshie Capitals 36 15 13 28 20 17:17
Michael Grabner Rangers 44 19 8 27 20 13:44
Brooks Orpik Capitals 44 0 10 10 20 17:42

Wild Franchise Record — Plus/Minus

Player Season GP G A PTS +/-
Jared Spurgeon 2016-17 39 6 15 21 26
Ryan Suter 2016-17 43 6 20 26 26
Jason Zucker 2016-17 43 12 17 29 26
Mikael Granlund 2016-17 43 10 26 36 23
Mikko Koivu 2016-17 43 13 19 32 23
Keith Carney 2006-07 80 4 13 17 22
Jonas Brodin 2014-15 71 3 14 17 21
Erik Haula 2015-16 76 14 20 34 21
Zach Parise 2014-15 74 33 29 62 21
Mathew Dumba 2016-17 43 7 13 20 19

The Wild’s skaters have had plenty of help this season thanks to goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who leads the league with a .937 save percentage and a 1.85 goals-against average.

He ranks second with five shutouts.

The franchise plus/minus record is currently held by former defenseman Keith Carney, who played in the NHL from 1991-2008 and spent the final two seasons of his career in Minnesota.

He was a plus-22 during the 2006-07 season, helping the Wild to a second-place finish in the Northwest Division while playing in front of a goaltending tandem that featured Manny Fernandez and Nicklas Backstrom.

While plus/minus tends to be a team-wide trend a clean sweep of the top five is a relatively rare occurrence and has happened just once since 2000.

The last team to do so — the 2011-12 Boston Bruins — lost in the first round of the playoffs but won the Northeast Division with a record of 49-29-4.

Statistics courtesy of STATS LLC and Hockey-Reference.com