Blackhawks News

Nashville Predators Offseason report card

By Sean Fitzgerald

Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Seth Jones poses for a photo with team officials after being introduced as the number four overall pick to the Nashville Predators during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators: The Predators finished 5th in the central division last season. They were 16-23-9. They did not make the playoffs, but they made some big moves in the offseason to make a return trip to the playoffs after missing out last season.

Drafted results:

Round 1: Seth Jones Defenseman shoots right, height 6-3, and weight 201lbs.  He is ranked is 9.0 rating and C probability. Seth Jones is the STEAL of the draft. He was supposed to be gone before the Predators were picking. He will be in the NHL at the age of 18 and will only get bigger and stronger.

Round 3: Jonathan-Ismael Diaby Defenseman shoots left, height 6-3 and weight 220lbs. The Predators got another steal in the third round. He can skate well and move the puck. Predators had the best draft in the NHL.

Round 4: Felix Girard Center shoots right, height 5-10 and weight 185. Felix addresses a huge organization need of the Predators. He is also a point per game player in juniors. This was another solid pick by the Preds.

Round 4: Juuse Saros Goalie shoots left , height 5-10 and weight is 181lbs. Behind Pekka Rinne there was some doubt in the Predators system. Saros addressed a need, but the knock on him is his height.

Round 5: Skau Maenalanen Right Wing shoots left Height 6’3 and weight 178lbs. He is a big boy who is very raw. He needs to add discipline to his game and mass to his frame.

Round 5: Teemi Kivhalme Defenseman shoots left height 5-10 and weight 150lbs. This is the first pick that is viewed as conservative. He is a project and will not be on the NHL radar for a long time.

Round 6: Emil Pettersson Center shoots left height 6-1 and weight 158lbs.  Pettersson is an organizational need pick.  Being the 7th out of 10 picks the Preds can fill needs. Pettersson has high offensive upside. stated  “Pettersson’s biggest strength is skating ability and the ease with which he moves the puck, making him a great prospect down the middle”.

Round 6: Tommy Veilleux left wing shoots left height 6-0 and weight is 188lbs. Veilleux is drawing comparisons to the Chicago Blackhawks Andrew Shaw. He is a gritty forward who Nashville likes.

Round 7: Wade Murphy right wing shoots right height 5-10 and weight 173lbs. Gritty young forward who will be playing with the University of North Dakota next year.

Round 7: Janne Juvonen Goalie shoot left, height 6-0 and weight is 178lbs. Very raw goalie prospect, wait and see type of pick.

Free agent additions: Matt Cullen center, Viktor Stalberg Left wing , Matt Hendricks center, and Eric Nystrom left wing, Rich Clune  Forward, and Goalie Carter Hutton.

Projection: I love Nashville getting Seth Jones. He will add to a strong defense while being tutored by Shea Weber. The forward addition is response to Nashville putrid offense last season. I think the Preds over paid for Stalberg, but might have gotten a steal in Matt Cullen. They had 10 picks in the draft and addressed organizational needs. ranked Nashville’s draft class the best in the NHL. The Preds are going to challenge the Blackhawks for the division.  Their offseason and bounce back year from Pekka Rinne are going to help them do it.

Overall Grade A-