2022 could be an exciting year or a disappointing one, depending on the sport you watch. Whether your team happens to be at the top of the sport or it doesn’t live up to expectations, Minnesota’s sport has never been boring.
Much like 2022 in the rearview mirror, 2023 has a lot to offer.
1. How far will the Vikings go in the playoffs?
The Vikings are the biggest surprise of the year when it comes to handing out the 2022 awards. Surprises can follow in the run.
Minnesota became a legitimate contender, ranking seventh with 378 points, and Kirk Cousins had eight comebacks in the fourth quarter, tying an NFL record. If he goes 11-0 in a single-scoring game, the Vikings can take their first playoff victory since 2019.
A pessimistic fan might be unhappy with the Vikings’ defense, or they might go against it. Here’s a realistic shot of the Vikings playing in his first Super Bowl since 1976.
2. Timberwolves looking for playoff spot
A fanbase weathered by 33 mostly losing seasons of basketball may lose patience, but the Timberwolves could turn things around and become a Western Conference contender.
The 16-20 Timberwolves aren’t even in the top 10 in the West. Disappointing as it may be, the No. 6 seed Dallas is just four games behind the Mavericks and has an automatic playoff spot.
There are several reasons to believe that the better the Timberwolves have with Rudy Gobert, the better they will play. Karl’s return to Anthony Towns and the development of Anthony Edwards and Jayden McDaniels should also help as Minnesota seeks back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since his 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.
3. The Return of Lois Lewis in Midsummer
Twins fans may no longer see Carlos Correa at Target Field, but they may have a ready-made replacement in Royce Lewis.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, he appeared in 34 games for the Saints and had a glorious 2022, batting .313/.405/.534 with five homers, 14 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Lewis didn’t stop hitting when he was called up in May, and in 12 games he had two home runs and five RBIs in which he batted 40 for 12 (.313).
Lewis’ season was going so well that the Twins decided to use him in a very practical role until May when he tore up center field during an ACL play. But even with his injury, Lewis has the potential to be a superstar for a team looking for optimism.
4. Wilde to playoff berth
The early part of the season hasn’t looked good for Wild, but after a shaky start, he looks set to have a chance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
After ranking fifth with 310 goals last season, the Wilds have moved to a defensive approach. Minnesota ranks 21st in goals (111), but he ranks 8th in goals (100), ahead of Marc-Andre Fleury (12-8-1, 2.85 GAA) and Philippe. We rely on Gustafsson (8-5-1, 2.34 GAA). 11-4-0 record over the last 15 games.
Wilde win their first playoff series since 2015 as Sam Steele ignites Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuckarello to build a strong topline and young talents like Matt Boldy and Karen Addison mature Looks like a team that has a chance to.
5. Minnesota Team in NCAA Hockey Tournament
Minnesota teams have dominated college hockey in recent years, and this season is no exception. Three of his schools in Minnesota cracked the latest edition of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey poll. Each school has a reason why they can make it big in the NCAA Tournament.
The Gophers are led by a stable of NHL talent, including Logan Cooley, Jimmy Snageld, and Wild Prospect Brock Favor. Dominique Vasse (5-1-0-1, 1.51 GAA) and Jackson Caster (4-2-0-0, 2.18 GAA) gave the Huskies a pipe and Keenan Lancier (4-6-1-0, 2.26). GAA) and Alex Tracy (6-3-0-1, 2.24 GAA) want the Mavericks back in the Frozen Four.
Men weren’t the only ones making noise at the tournament. The Gopher women’s hockey team could also be in the lead, as she currently ranks fifth in USCHO.com’s poll.
No matter what your favorite hockey team is, there’s a good chance you’ll be rooting for someone in March.
scroll to continue
6. Minnesota Lynx should be pretty good
The Lynx are at the end of an era with the retirement of Sylvia Fowles, but their success could continue in 2023 with some luck in the draft lottery.
Minnesota was the second pick in this year’s draft and will likely miss out on South Carolina center Aaliyah Boston, but either Maryland forward Diamond Miller or Stanford guard Haley Jones’ You have the chance to choose one or the other.
Adding top contenders to a roster that already includes Aerial Powers (14.4 points), Kayla McBride (13.3 points) and Nafisa Collier (16.2 points, 6.6 points in 2021) should give the Lynx a good chance of returning to the playoffs. next summer.
7. Justin Jefferson’s contract extension
Minnesota sports fans have seen Kirk Cousins, Carlos Correa and Joe Mauer cash in for years, but they’re gearing up for a deal Justin Jefferson could sign next spring. No people.
Jefferson is eligible for a contract extension in May and looks like he’ll have a great opportunity to cash in. Award-winning NFL history.
If Jefferson becomes the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history, he could threaten AJ Brown’s record after the Philadelphia Eagles star was guaranteed $56.4 million in a four-year, $100 million contract extension last April. there is.
Whatever the cost, Vikings fans will be happy to have Jefferson in Minnesota for years to come.
8. Rise of Atan Kaliakmanis
The Gophers haven’t taken a quarterback draft since 1972, but after a strong run in the final month of the season, Asan Kaliakmanis has a chance to break that record.
Kaliakmanis showed potential in spot duty during his freshman redshirt season, but he made headlines last month against Wisconsin by throwing for 319 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
Kaliakmanis looked poised for an encore performance at the Pinstripe Bowl, completing 7 passes 9 for 80 yards before being sent off with an injury.
Thankfully, the injuries weren’t serious, and receivers Corey Crooms (57 catches, 814 yards, 5 TDs for West Michigan last season) and Elijah Spencer (57 catches, 943 yards, 9 TDs for Charlotte) are on the transfer portal. Arrived at Calliamanis. He could have a breakout season as a starter for the Gophers in 2023.
9. Gophers Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Growth
Minnesota’s men’s and women’s basketball programs haven’t had much success so far, but both have reason to be optimistic heading into the new year.
The men’s team sits at the bottom of the Big Ten, but is laying the groundwork for conference contenders. Jamison Battle was named to the preseason All-Big Ten, and Dawson Garcia is eligible for two more years after this season.
With Braden Carrington, Pharrell Payne and Trayton Thompson gaining valuable experience and adding four-star recruits Dennis Evans and Cameron Christie, they should be a better team next season.
For the women’s team, Mara Brown leads the team with 17.5 points per game, Alana Michaud is averaging 13.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and Mallory Heyer is averaging 11.1 points and 6 rebounds per game. , There is also a youth movement.
With Katie Borowicz and Amaya Battle also contributing, Lindsay Whalen was able to create something special with The Barn.
10. Loons’ seventh season in MLS
Minnesota will begin its seventh season in Major League Soccer in two months. As the saying goes, hope springs forever.
Sure, United haven’t added a game-changer to their lineup, but they haven’t lost a key player in the offseason. Young Canadian goalkeeper Dane St. Clair appears to be carrying on from last year’s All-Star season.