What’s Next: The Nashville Predators
After being eliminated in 6 games by the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators are a team that you may want to keep your eyes on going forward. They are a team that may have finally found their star forward in Filip Forsberg. Matched with veterans Mike Ribeiro and James Neal, the young Swede could become a top scorer in the NHL in the next few years. Now addressing why they lost, it may have been due to the fact that they lost captain Shea Weber early in the series or that they just faced a stronger more playoff experienced team in the Chicago Blackhawks. It also could have been that they didn’t have that standout top line. The Predators have many players that can play bit parts and are good compliments to star players but this is a team that does not currently have that All-Atar number 1 forward, that can change with the development of young talented players like Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg and with players like Kevin Fiala and Austin Watson coming through the AHL and Vladislav Kamenev in the KHL, the team’s future is looking promising.
Moving forward the Predators may want to look at moving one of their young forward for a high impact forward because there is a small chance that they get a player of that caliber in this draft as their first pick belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Cody Franson trade, a trade that never really panned out for the Predators as Franson never really fit into the organization that drafted him and Mike Santorelli was a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. If Nashville wants to trade a young player, a team to look at could be the Edmonton Oilers as the Oilers are in desperate need of defense and have an abundance of forwards while the Predators have an abundance of young talented defencemen like Seth Jones, Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi. Another area that the Predators could use help is in goal as they rely too much on Vezina candidate Pekka Rinne as he could use a break from time-to-time. Carter Hutton has shown signs that he is a competent backup but for the team to succeed they either need to give him more starts or find someone that they can trust for the back-to-back games. A few tweaks and maybe a more favorable first round matchup may spell more success for Nashville in the future.