3ITB’s Top 33 Wild Players of All Time – #14


14. Derek Boogaard – LW

5 Seasons,  255 Games,  2 Goals,  12 Assists,  14 Points, 544 Penalty Minutes

While the Wild have had several goons over their brief history (Matt Johnson, Brad Staubitz, Matt Kassian, John Scott), none of them had the hearts of the Minnesota fan quite like Derek Boogaard.

Drafted in the 7th round of the 2001 draft, Derek took the slow route to the NHL, by blasting through opponents faces from the WHL, to the ECHL and to the AHL (with which the Houston Aeros honored him with a special “Bobble fists” doll). He made his debut with the big club in 2005, and by his fourth game, he was ready for his first NHL fight… or two. He fought both Kip Brennan (beating him handily) and Todd Fedoruk (who would fight Boogaard the following season and have his orbital bone turned into mush by Boogaard’s fists).

Boogaard fought the biggest enforcers of the day, and his body took the toll. Near the end of his 5 year career with the Wild, he became addicted to painkillers, and this carried over to his next NHL stop in New York, where the addiction escalated. He was found dead due to overdose at the age of 28 in his Minneapolis apartment.


Previously on our list:

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