Monday, August 15, 2016

2017 Pool Projections: Nashville

The Nashville Predators are building themselves quite the franchise, when you sit down and put it on paper for all to see.  It's certainly an interesting blend of raw young talent and some good seasoned veterans and it all culminates into a quick, hard-working group.

The Preds are normally considered to be a mild-mannered club, especially when it comes to the off-season, but they were out there making some of the biggest splashes in the pool and everyone knows who they are and what kind of business they mean when the season starts.

Whoever informed the team's management about their lack of flair, both on the ice and in the boardroom, should have received a raise for that point being made, as that was something that helped pull the trigger on the biggest trade in the off-season and all of a sudden, this franchise looks much different to a lot of people.

Most importantly, this team looks much different to the people who are reading the posts on this blog site, as they are concerned about what kind of numbers that this team is potentially going to put up with all of their changes.  I have a feeling that you won't be disappointed about the goals and the assists, but the wins, I might be a bit more skeptical about.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Rookie
Pekka Rinne G 75 N
Filip Forsberg F 70 N
Ryan Johansen F 65 N
Roman Josi D 65 N
P.K. Subban D 65 N
James Neal F 60 N
Mike Ribeiro F 50 N
Calle Jarnkrok F 50 N
Craig Smith F 40 N
Mattias Ekholm D 40 N
Colin Wilson F 30 N
Ryan Ellis D 30 N
Mike Fisher F 20 N
Viktor Arvidsson F 20 N
Kevin Fiala F 20 Y
Anthony Bitetto D 20 N
Austin Watson F 15 N
Marek Mazanec G 10 N
Miikka Salomaki F 10 N
Colton Sissons F 10 N
Yannick Weber D 10 N
Matt Irwin D 10 N
Cody Bass F 5 N
Harry Zolnierczyk F 5 N
Matthew Carle D 5 N
Stefan Elliott D 5 N
Petter Granberg D 5 N

Table last updated on August 7th

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

How was this spot not going to be taken up by P.K. Subban?  The most intriguing trade of the NHL off-season saw the dynamic defenseman get traded, one-for-one, with the previous captain of the team, Shea Weber.

There's no doubt that Subban has the talk and there's very little doubt that he can back it up with a lot of his play, but the question still remains, how is he going to adapt to the Predators' style?  I think he is going to score points, be a great player for your hockey pool team, but I am not 100% convinced that he is going to help the Preds win more games.  That might just be me though.

Right now, under those doubts cast, I don't think Subban will have a spectacular season, but he'll be among those who have pretty good years at 65 points.

First Round Picks

I have a feeling that Pekka Rinne is going to have to work extra hard this season, with so much offensive 'get up and go' on his blueline, but I think he will manage just fine.  The jury is still out here on just how defensive the Predators will be, but they have certainly taken some strides to try and score more goals to win games and wins are the biggest functioning stat for goalies in this pool, shutouts are merely bonuses.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

At the forward ranks, the Predators will serve some youth with Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen offering up some fresh takes and some razzle-dazzle.  They should be supported well by the veteran presence in James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher, while there will be some other names creeping around the pool worthy lists, which you may want to look a bit closer at.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

Subban will be the big draw, but Roman Josi has been getting the job done for a couple of seasons now and he is probably well-suited to not be the man in the spotlight, which means I expect more good things from him this season.  Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis should continue to progress, as this defenseman factory continues to churn out (as well as acquire) good talent on the blueline.

Goaltending Situation

The job behind Rinne this season might be one of the more wide open jobs in the league, but one would have to think that Marek Mazanec has a leg up, already having some experience, although it was back in the 2015 season.  Nevertheless, the projections, as they stand right now, don't have the Predators back-up as a viable pool option, since Rinne is likely to take most of the minutes this season.

Team To Pick From?

Nashville is another one of those teams that are not necessarily popular with the pool players, so that could lead to a couple Predators dropping in the draft values and becoming bargains and a later round.  I think there is enough talent to really keep an eye on Nashville.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

Salary CapThe Preds really cleaned house and let a lot of UFA's head off to market, where they have yet to be snapped up.  Their restricted free agents remaining were not on the pool radar, so there isn't much concern there.

Still, the Predators are likely rolling on the better side of $5 million under the cap ceiling, making them a formidable force through the year, if they ever needed an upgrade or some more help, thanks to an unforeseen injury.


Speaking of injuries, the Predators are in the clear... let the good times roll!

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