Coach Mike Yeo has challenged Devin Setoguchi.
The first major acquisition of the offseason who came to the Wild from the San Jose Sharks in a deal that sent Brent Burns to the Sharks, Setoguchi had two goals and one assist for three points in Minnesota's first seven games.
Yeo said before the Wild's 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks on Saturday that he believes Setoguchi, 24, who has been playing the wing on a line with Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley, might have been deferring to the two veterans.
What Setoguchi must do, Yeo said, "is to just open the door and say, 'Guys, here I am.' I think he's deferred a little bit to those guys, and that's normal. A lot of especially younger guys, you're playing with two great players, and the mentality is maybe to let those guys go and do all the work and make the play and you'll just kind of be there when they need you."
Heatley, 30, and Koivu, 28, are the acknowledged big names on the Wild's top line, but Yeo said Setoguchi has the speed and the skills to fit right in.
"What I would like to see from him is to just really assert himself and say, 'You know what, I'm a huge part of this line.' Make plays happen," Yeo said. "Be a little bit more aggressive."
Setoguchi said Yeo pulled him aside the other day and instructed him to take his shot when he can rather than trying to force passes to the other two, to become an equal part of the threesome.
Devin Setoguchi told to assert himself
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Oct 23