When talking about most of the Minnesota Wild players, there’s a certain skill that they excel at or a specific role they fill on the team. Brandon Duhaime, on the other hand, seems to do a little bit of everything, including being the hypeman. After signing a new one-year, $1.1 million contract, Duhaime is ready to keep playing for the team that drafted him.
In his second season with the big club, Duhaime only managed 10 points with nine goals and one assist. That might sound less than stellar, but he only played 51 games. Hampered by repeat concussions, Duhaime struggled a bit as he came in and out of the lineup due to his injuries. In some ways, it seems to be similar to the pace of his rookie season. In 2021-22, Duhaime had 17 points (6 goals and 11 assists) in 80 games, along with a whopping 122 penalty minutes. Despite his struggles, Duhaime did manage one short-handed goal and three game-winning goals. Pretty impressive despite his injuries.
Duhaime’s biggest strength is his ability to do a little bit of everything. As mentioned in this article, he doesn’t mind putting the puck on the net. He’ll get physical whenever needed. And in his second season, he had a bigger presence on the penalty kill. He’s also great off of the ice. One of the biggest hypemen on the bench, he isn’t afraid to eat the lineup paper or laugh off when he fell on his rookie lap.
As mentioned above, his biggest weakness last season was his string of injuries. At least one of Duhaime’s concussions came from a fight. While his physicality is one of his strengths, Duhaime needs to make sure he’s making good choices when it comes to dropping the mitts. The two long absences he had really affected his season. Being out for a long span of time can make it difficult to get back into the pace of the game.
If Duhaime can stay healthy, this could be a good season to show that he’s still developing his skills. With Mason Shaw out of the lineup for a while, Duhaime can continue to grow his presence on the penalty kill. It’ll be interesting to see where Duhaime will end up. He’s capable of skating with the third or fourth line, but his rate of scoring might be determined by who his linemates are. Either way, Duhaime is still young and has more to show the Wild.