The Minnesota Wild have added some reinforcements to their blue line after a somewhat shaky start to the 2023-24 season. On Wednesday, the Wild announced they acquired defenseman Zach Bogosian from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2025 seventh-round pick.
Bogosian, 33, is a 16-year NHL veteran and will bring a wealth of experience and physicality to the defensive group in Minnesota. Bogosian has spent four of the last five seasons with the Lightning, and he won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2020.
Through the first month of this season, Bogosian was a healthy scratch for most of Tampa’s games, and the results were mixed when he was in the game. That said, Bogosian won’t be overextended in Minnesota. Instead, he will play a depth role with Jonas Brodin, Brock Faber and Jacob Middleton handling most of the tough minutes.
It’s clear that Wild general manager Bill Guerin has decided to shake up his team’s blue line because the acquisition of Bogosian comes just hours after the team dealt 23-year-old Calen Addison to the San Jose Sharks. A second-round pick in 2018, Addison was struggling to find his footing at the NHL level.
It’s understandable why Guerin would want to make some changes at this point in the season. With captain Jared Spurgeon on LTIR, Minnesota has really struggled in its own zone. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Wild have allowed 2.68 xGA/60 at five-on-five, which ranks 19th in the NHL. That’s 10 spots lower than where they ranked in that category last season, and it has led to 31 goals against, which is the third-worst mark in the league.
With third place in the Central Division up for grabs, the Wild have to hope that Bogosian can help them eat some minutes until Spurgeon returns to stabilize that position.