With all the offseason headlines about Ryan Suter and Zach Parise heading to the Minnesota Wild, it was easy to forget that the team still had star forwards Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu too. Parise has jumped out to a red-hot start, with five goals and nine points in the team’s first five games, but Heatley is right behind him with four goals and six points. The former Calder Trophy winner had a bit of a disappointing 2011-12 season, but it looks like he will benefit from having other scoring help this season.
Heatley scored 24 goals and added 29 assists last season, which would be considered a halfway decent year for most players. For a player who put up back-to-back 100 point seasons with the Ottawa Senators, the bar set a little higher.
Unlike many of the NHL’s star players, Heatley did not play overseas during the lockout. He seems no worse off for it, and could easily contribute 20-25 goals for the Wild in a shortened season. He has only missed two games over the past four seasons, a good sign for the team in a lockout-shortened season where player health and wellness will be at a premium. Two of his goals this season have come on the power play, and expect the Wild to use him with the man advantage a lot this season.
Next up is a meeting with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Heatley had a goal and an assist in four games against Columbus last season.