The first intrasquad scrimmage of Wild training camp was a chance for newly assembled lines to test their chemistry just days ahead of the season opener.
But one grouping already familiar with each other is the team's third trio featuring Marcus Foligno, Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway.
"We played together last year, and I think we know how to play with each other," Eriksson Ek said on a video call. "We know what we gotta do to be successful. We're all three big guys just trying to skate and use the body and play smart at the same time."
While the three could easily be tasked with frustrating the other team's top players, their calling card looks like their size and strength — attributes that could pay dividends at both ends of the ice.
"A two-way line that can play up and down the lineup and create energy for you" was how coach Dean Evason described them. "Sound. They're all penalty killers. I think at some point everyone is going to get a little bit of [power play] time. Certainly, a line that if they stay together will be one we lean on a lot."
Foligno is coming off his best season with the Wild, scoring 11 goals and being a force physically.
Eriksson Ek also took a step forward, registering career highs in goals (eight), assists (21) and points (29) — a jump in production that helped round out his game.
"Just getting more confident, more confident with the puck," the center said. "You know when you can do those plays and just trying to hold on to the puck that extra second that might open up a scoring chance rather than just throwing it away."
As for Greenway, who signed a two-year, $4.2 million contract in the offseason, he's looking to establish his identity as an NHLer after an up-and-down season.
"That's something that I've been working to do since I've gotten here, and I think this is going to be a big year for me," said Greenway, who finished last season with eight goals and 20 assists. "I think I need to definitely have more of an impact than I did last year."
Team White edged Team Green 2-1 in Friday's scrimmage, with Ryan Hartman and Dakota Mermis (Team White) and Kirill Kaprizov (Team Green) the goal scorers.
Nick Bonino and Zach Parise also tallied goals during the dedicated power-play portions of the game.
Kaprizov's finish was the highlight of the night, as he sneaked behind the defense before deking around goalie Kaapo Kahkonen.
"You see the skill," Evason said, "but what you see away from the puck and when he doesn't have it and his willingness to go get it — his battle level to compete on those loose pucks — that's what's impressive."
Later in the scrimmage, Marcus Johansson tumbled awkwardly to the ice after tripping over a fallen Connor Dewar. He skated off slowly and didn't return, but Evason said Johansson was "fine."
After a day off, the Wild will return to Xcel Energy Center on Sunday for another scrimmage.
This was the Wild's first action on the Xcel Energy Center ice since March 3, the team's last home game (a 3-1 victory over Nashville) before the NHL was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Haven't been in such a big arena for such a long time," Eriksson Ek said. "It just feels weird without fans. It's just different."
Fox Sports North will broadcast 52 of the Wild's 56 regular-season games this season, including the opener Thursday at Los Angeles. Six Wild games will also be broadcast on NBCSN, with the first Jan. 20 in Anaheim.
Every game can also be heard on KFAN (100.3 FM).
• The Wild will have the Xcel Energy logo on the team's home and road helmets for the entire season.
• Former Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has purchased a junior team in the United States Premier Hockey League in Hershey that'll begin playing in the 2021-22 season.