Wild training camp may be shorter than usual, but that hasn't given players and coaches less to do to prepare for puck drop.
Actually, the team's preseason primer is set to include even more instruction than in previous years, with the offseason turnover subbing out several roster regulars for new veterans and a rookie or two.
Here are five questions to be addressed during camp:
How will Kirill Kaprizov adjust?
After years of anticipation, Kaprizov has finally left Russia to join the Wild and embark on a career in the NHL.
Although he left the Kontinental Hockey League on a roll, leading the KHL in goals in each of the past two seasons, Kaprizov will be tested by the change. Not only does he have to adapt to a new league and team, but the Russian is also getting used to a different country amid a pandemic that has restricted what he can do during the season.
The Wild will manage expectations for the 23-year-old, who was drafted in the fifth round in 2015. Kaprizov reported to the Twin Cities long before camp started and has been skating with teammates for weeks. That could help ease the transition.
Look for him to start at right wing.
"We're looking forward to having him, clearly, on our hockey club and giving us a chance to win," coach Dean Evason said.
Does Marco Rossi crack the roster?
Rossi, an Austrian who played in the Ontario Hockey League, feels ready for the NHL after getting drafted ninth overall.
His audition during camp will be short, since Rossi must go through the NHL's testing protocol before getting on the ice likely near the end of the week, but team brass will evaluate the center for a spot. Even so, General Manager Bill Guerin recognizes that quickly promoting a prospect to the NHL isn't always the best strategy.
"We want to make sure we do the right thing for him at the right time," Guerin said.
Can the Wild's new lines develop chemistry?
The departures of Mikko Koivu and Eric Staal didn't just subtract a wealth of experience. They also left two holes at center. Another one was created when the team decided not to bring back Alex Galchenyuk.
Cue the new additions.
Marcus Johansson and Nick Bonino will join Joel Eriksson Ek up the middle, and fellow newbie Nick Bjugstad also looks like a center even though he can play wing. How well these players settle into the Wild's system could be an indicator of the offense's potential.
Who makes the taxi squad?
Teams can carry four to six reserves this season, and the competition for these spots should raise the intensity in camp.
Familiar faces from Iowa are sure to be in the mix, but the Wild also has some free-agent signings to consider. Who might benefit from playing time elsewhere instead of practicing with the Wild could also factor into the decision.
What impression will the retooled goaltending regime make?
Cam Talbot is the Wild's new No. 1 goalie, but that's not the only difference in net.
The depth chart was completely scrambled when backup Alex Stalock suffered an upper-body injury. Youngster Kaapo Kahkonen is primed for a more significant role, and veteran Andrew Hammond is also available.
"You're going to need, we believe, a lot of different bodies in a lot of different areas," Evason said, "and goaltending certainly is no different."