Seasons With The Wild: 7
Brent Burns checks in as the only defenseman on this list. It took him a few seasons (Rotating back and forth between forward and defenseman), but he finally broke through as the big scoring d-man the Wild needed, in 07-08 when he notched 15 goals and 28 assists. In the combined 3 seasons prior to 07-08, Burns notched 12 goals and 35 assists.
Burns had injury riddled seasons in 08-09 (8-19-27 in 59 games) and 09-10 (3-17-20 in 47 games), but still had decent numbers in those seasons before bouncing back in 2010-11 with 17 goals and 29 assists, while once again anchoring the Wild's top d-man unit.
Burns was also a big physical presence (6'5", 225 pounds), and was not shy to throw his body around. In fact in 2 seasons (07-08, 10-11), he registered over 80 minutes in the penalty box, but more of that was due to his sometimes poor play in the defensive end, rather than his physical play.
There aren't many other defenseman who can even come close to cracking this list (Nick Schultz, Filip Kuba, Marek Zidlicky?). But Burns was the only one out of the bunch who stood out.
Luckily for us, the Wild were smart to trade Burns while his value was high and he was traded at the 2011 NHL Draft in St. Paul for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and the 28th overall pick (Zack Phillips). So not only was Burns good for us when he played for us, he is still doing wonders for us now that he is gone.
By all means isn't the best defenseman ever. But he did enough to crack this top 10 list, despite the injuries taking his best seasons away.
Check back tomorrow to see who comes in at #7!
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