Rookies and first year pros for the Nashville Predators scrimmaged the rookies and first year players of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The results were very pleasant for Nashville.
The Preds won both games decidedly. The Predators tallied seven goals in Saturday’s game, including four on the power play, en route to a 7-2 win over Columbus. The Predators looked good in all aspects of the game, including goalie. Brian Finley and Matt Davis each made 10 out of 11 saves in the game. Finley played the first 31 minutes and David played the final 29.
Top prospect, defensemen Dan Hamhuis, opened the scoring with a power play goal early in the first period. Nashville’s top selection in this year’s draft, Scottie Upshall, assisted on the play and later added a goal. Miroslav Durak, Darren Haydar, Jordin Tootoo, Gustaf Grasberg and Erik Andersson also scored goals in the Preds opening victory.
In the second game on Sunday, the young Preds took an early lead on a Bryan Lundbohm goal. The Preds didn’t stop there adding five more goals and beating the Blue Jackets for the second straight day, this time 6-3. Adam Hall, Vernon Fiddler, Hamhuis, Upshall and Tootoo also scored goals for Nashville. Upshall led the way with three points (one goal, two assists) for the Predators.
Brian Finley was one of the bright spots of the mini-series against Columbus. Finley turned away 20 of the 21 shots he faced and made some very incredible plays against the Jacket’s top young players.
Rick Nash, the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, was very impressed with Finley saying he is one of the top young goalies in the league and has a very bright future in the NHL.
Upshall and Hamhuis, the Predators last two first round picks, also played very well. Hamhuis showed why he was the CHL Player of the Year last season with his lightning speed and crisp passes. Upshall showed hope for the future playing very well on both ends of the rink.
The Preds will give both players a long look at making the pro team but don’t be surprised if both are in a Nashville uniform by season’s end.
The most likely player to make the pro team is Adam Hall. Hall, who served as a captain for MSU last season, has great size (6-3) and is not afraid to take a hit.
The Nashville Predators will kick off their pre-season in Chicago with a game Thursday night against the Blackhawks.