Wild Report Cards 2023-24: Declan Chisholm – The Hockey Writers –


It’s time for another Minnesota Wild season report card and after writing up the bottom two defensemen recently, it’s time for another defenseman, who was in and out of the lineup but not because of poor play. Declan Chisholm was picked up off of waivers from the Winnipeg Jets at the end of January. 

The Wild saw an opportunity and jumped at it, and they didn’t regret it when Chisholm added points and blocks to their roster. He played 29 games for the Wild and would’ve played more had they brought him in at the start of the season. When Jared Spurgeon was deemed out for the season, Chisholm stepped up and helped out when they needed it most. We’ll look at a rough part of his game, a strong part of his game, and then reveal his overall grade. 

Chisholm’s Turnovers Need Work

Looking over Chisholm’s stats, nothing stood out dramatically as needing immediate improvement. However, his turnover numbers could use some work. He had 12 giveaways in 29 games, and while those numbers aren’t horrible, they aren’t great either. If he’d played 77 games and had 17 turnovers like Joel Eriksson Ek, no one would bat an eye, but having that many giveaways in that few games could be better and needs to be. 

Declan Chisholm Manitoba Moose
Declan Chisholm, former Manitoba Moose (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

The other area that could use some improvement is his total shots. While he did average a shot per game, he has a great shot from the point that should be utilized every chance he can get. He had eight points, three of which were goals, and all three were scored with a ruthless wrist shot instead of a big boomer from the point. He does shoot from the point, but he tricks goaltenders with a wrist shot. 

It would be great to see him use that shot all the time but also throw in a slapshot once in a while to see if he’s got power in his shot. Hopefully, he’ll re-sign with the Wild this offseason and show what he’s got. 

Chisholm’s Defensive Abilities

Obviously, as a defenseman, Chisholm’s first priority is playing defense, and general manager Bill Guerin knew exactly what he was getting when he snatched Chisholm off waivers. A lot of people questioned the decision, but he quickly showed he’s a strong defenseman with great awareness. 

He contributed 36 blocked shots, an average of a little over a block per game. Unlike some of his teammates, he was willing to throw himself in front of the puck. He also knew when to block with his body and when to use his stick instead to deflect the pass. Chisholm showed his talents on the power play, with five of his eight points coming with the man advantage, including two of these three goals. 

Related: Wild Have a Lot of Free Agent Decisions to Make

The Wild need Chisholm’s skills, and they need to make room for him during the offseason. They’ll add another strong defenseman to their core if they can do that. 

Chisholm’s Overall Grade

While many of Chisholm’s teammates have earned lower grades because of not reaching the postseason, he deserves less blame. By the time he joined them, their hole was mostly dug, and he tried to help them out of it as best he could. He also played to the best of his abilities every night compared to some who couldn’t keep the consistency going. 

Considering those things, Chisholm earned a C for his overall grade. That may seem high, but again, in his 29 games for the Wild, he had pretty decent numbers and did what he could to help them win. It could’ve been higher, but his turnovers have to be considered, as does his hesitancy in showing his true potential. He has another level to his game that he hasn’t reached yet and needs to push to get there. Hopefully, the Wild chooses to re-sign him and let him show what he’s truly capable of.

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