Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon continues to grow. Not literally however. "I don't see him growing" coach Mike Yeo said with a straight face Saturday before allowing a grin to emerge. "Unfortunately." Spurgeon who arrived on the Minnesota scene at the end of November 2010 looking more like a stick-boy than a potential NHL defenseman is set to begin his fourth season with the Wild. He has held a spot as a regular since the second half of the 2010-11 campaign. His mustache might be a bit wispy but there's a maturity that comes from playing 162 NHL games on the youthful-looking face of the 23-year-old from Edmonton Alberta. And at 5 feet 9 he is the shortest player on the Wild roster. Nevertheless he has delivered 12 goals and 38 assists in three-plus seasons and has played well enough to earn power-play time. Those credentials also earned him a three-year contract extension over the summer worth $8 million. Does all that provide him the comfort level of a veteran? "A little bit comfortable" he said "but at the same time never too comfortable." Much of the talk surrounding Minnesota's blue line during training camp has focused on veterans Ryan Suter Keith Ballard and Clayton Stoner plus potential young regulars such as Jonas Brodin Marco Scandella Nate Prosser and Matt Dumba. A week ago Yeo said: "Spurge is Spurge." That means few mistakes and a quiet consistency that does not attract a lot of attention. "Just fly under the radar and go out there and do what I do" Spurgeon said before the Wild played host to the Winnipeg Jets in their third exhibition game Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon maturing with quiet consistency
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Sep 22