The Nashville Predators entered the NHL in 1997- 1998. They have been part of the NHL Draft for 15 years, and have only had 12 1st round picks. The Predators have not had a 1st round pick since the 2010 draft, and that lack of top young prospect has taken its toll on the Predators depth chart. Nashville has been unable to get their talent in to their minor league program, and that has hurt the organization over the past few years. Nashville missed the playoffs for the first time in the past four years, and as I touched on in part 1 of the series the Predators have made some changed to their staff. This year Nashville has “earned” the #4 pick in the Draft.
Two players have come to the fore front as possible targets for the Predators. Some people see the Predators selecting Aleksander Barkov. Barkov would add some much-needed offensive talent to the Predators. Scouting reports say that Barkov may be the closest player to a true playmaker in this years draft. His game is centered around his size and speed. The second name that has come up over the past week or so is Valeri Nichushkin. Nichushkin was the KHL’s rookie of the year in 2012, and has stated he will only play in the NHL, or KHL; not in the minors. Landing in Nashville may make that a non-issue. The Predators are looking to add scoring, and there would be no need for Nichushkin to play with Nashville’s minor league affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. Both Barkov and Nichushkin would be a nice complement to set up man Filip Forsberg who joined the Predators during the 20123-2013 season.
Nashville 1st Round Picks
2000 Scott Hartnell (RW) 2006 No 1st Round Pick 2012 No 1st Round Pick
2001 Dan Hamhyis (D) 2007 Jonathon Blum (D) * 2013 4th pick over all
In a brief conversation with Seth Luttrell (editor of Predlines; Fansided Network’s hockey blog dedicated to bringing all the latest news, rumors, opinions and analysis to the fans of the Nashville Predators) we discussed the possibility of Nashville trading down, but Seth pointed out that Nashville is very unlikely to move down further then the 7th pick, which now belongs to the Calgary Flames. I could see the Predators trading down to add picks in this years draft . However I believe that Nashville will pick 4th over all and add the size and scoring they need to get back into the playoffs.
* Did You Know? 2013 is only the 2nd time in team history that Nashville will have a top 5 pick
Tags: Aleksander Barkov Alexander Radulov Austin Watson Brian Finley Chet Pickard Colin Wilson Dan Hamhyis David Legwand Flip Forsberg Jonathon Blum Nashville Predators NHL Draft Ryan Ellis Ryan Parent Ryan Suter Scott Hartnell Scottie Upshall Valeri Nichushkin