The only people on the ice more than Wild rookie Brock Faber were the goalies and the referees.

Faber skated a career-high 30 minutes, 8 seconds in the 3-2 shootout victory over Calgary on Thursday night, including a marathon 2:09 shift in overtime. He worked on the penalty kill and power play and was credited with three shot blocks while winding up for five attempts at the Flames net.

So, the defenseman must have gone home and slept like a baby, right?

"No," he said. "I didn't sleep much. It's hard to sleep after games. Obviously, you got the caffeine before the games and adrenaline. So, always tough to sleep after games regardless of how much you play."

To be clear, there are repercussions to playing almost half a game. In Faber's case, he felt tired and sore on Friday.

As for the Wild, they are bolstered by the impact the 21-year-old Maple Grove native is having in his first full-length NHL season, a seamless transition that's helping stabilize a depleted defense.

"He's just so mature," fellow blueliner — and another former Gopher — Alex Goligoski said. "His game is so complete already. He has no weaknesses to his game, moves the puck well, he plays with poise. If you're going to build a defenseman, it might be him. He's just such a good skater. He's a big kid. You look around the room, he's probably been one of our most impressive players, for sure."

The Wild will play their third game without Jonas Brodin (upper-body injury) and maybe their second sans captain Jared Spurgeon (lower body) on Saturday when Vancouver stops by Xcel Energy Center for a matinee; Spurgeon will be a game-time decision.

But since two of their top defenders have been out, the Wild haven't lost, and Faber is one reason.

Not only have the Wild not been scored on at 5-on-5 while Faber has been on the ice in those two games, the Wild have also had more scoring chances than their opponent.

Overall, no one on the Wild has been on the ice for more shot attempts at 5-on-5 this season than Faber, a nod to the team's puck possession when he plays. And the Wild's goals-for and goals-against with Faber in action are better than their expected totals.

"I feel like when I'm clicking, I'm using my feet, making smart decisions, and I'm clean on breakouts," he said.

Add in a goal and 11 assists through 27 games, and Faber's statistics certainly reinforce how well he has adapted to the NHL after leaving the Gophers to turn pro last April and logging only two regular-season games before the playoffs.

And yet his biggest asset to the Wild might be the responsibility he's merited so quickly.

Take that 2-minute skate in overtime, which coach John Hynes felt described Faber in a nutshell.

"He's totally exhausted," Hynes said. "He's behind the net. He's in a puck battle, and then the puck's there. He's got a second effort completely exhausted but not only his second effort, he's got the wherewithal to bump it back so we can gain possession of the puck and get a line change.

"You look at just that one little component, that's where we've been talking about not just his talent, but I think his mindset and his mental maturity to handle the minutes he has and the situations he's in."

Faber isn't one to set numerical targets going into a season, like goals or points. What he did want to achieve with the Wild was their trust, and he has that.

"I've been far from perfect, and I know I still have a lot of growth yet," said Faber, who was acquired in the Kevin Fiala trade with Los Angeles in 2022 after the Kings drafted him 45th overall in the second round two years earlier. "But so far, I'm happy with the direction I'm trending."

This was his first 30-minute game in the NHL, but it likely won't be his last.

"Hop in the cold tub here and recover and hydrate as much as I can today," Faber said. "Eat as much as I can and go back at it tomorrow."