Wild vs. Maple Leafs pits youth against experience

BY foxsports • October 20, 2016

Rookies?

Who needs them?

That seems to be the mindset of general manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Bruce Boudreau, who haven't rolled out a rookie in any of the Minnesota Wild's three games this season.

Part of that statement is academic.

Defenseman Mike Reilly has played in just 29 NHL games, while Swedish center Joel Eriksson Ek immigration status has kept him stashed in the AHL to this point, but there's no denying the Wild's experience in all areas of the game.

It's a formula that's been paying off on the scoresheet so far.

PLAYER AGE GAMES GOALS ASSISTS POINTS PLUS/MINUS
Charlie Coyle 24 3 2 1 3 -1
Ryan Suter 32 3 1 3 4 1
Chris Stewart 29 3 1 2 3 1
Jonas Brodin 23 3 1 1 2 2
Erik Haula 25 3 1 1 2 3
Mikko Koivu 33 3 1 1 2 0
Jason Pominville 34 3 1 1 2 2
Jared Spurgeon 27 3 1 1 2 2
Matt Dumba 22 3 1 0 1 -2
Teemu Pulkkinen 25 3 1 0 1 -1
Eric Staal 32 3 1 0 1 -2

Forward Charlie Coyle is the only Wild player with multiple goals on the season, while Minnesota is one of just three teams to get goals from 11 different players through three games, joining the offensively gifted Chicago Blackhawks and the Connor McDavid-led Edmonton Oilers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken a different approach.

The Maple Leafs have six rookie skaters on their roster -- more than any other team in the league -- a group that leads all rookie classes with 15 points this season.

TEAM POINTS
Toronto Maple Leafs 15
Winnipeg Jets 7
Chicago Blackhawks 5
Philadelphia Flyers 5

Top pick Auston Matthews has had the biggest impact, and scored the Maple Leafs' first four goals of the season in a loss to the Ottawa Senators, but William Nylander and Nikita Zadorav are chipping in as well.

PLAYER AGE GAMES GOALS ASSISTS POINTS PLUS/MINUS
Auston Matthews 19 3 4 1 5 2
Connor Brown 23 3 1 0 1 0
Mitchell Marner 19 3 1 1 2 -2
William Nylander 20 3 1 3 4 3
Zach Hyman 24 3 0 1 1 4
Nikita Zaitsev 25 3 0 2 2 0

Statistics courtesy of STATS LLC and hockey-reference.com



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