Photo: Miikka Salomaki looks poised to have an offensive breakout with the Milwaukee Admirals in his second AHL season. (courtesy of Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
The most obvious change for the Nashville Predators this season will be behind the bench, where veteran coach Peter Laviolette replaces the only coach in the history of the franchise, Barry Trotz.
Photo: Goaltender Marek Mazanec made his North American debut in 2013-14, earning 25 NHL starts due to injuries in Nashville as well as 31 starts in AHL Milwaukee (courtesy of Juan Salas/Icon SMI)
Spring 2014 brought about the end of the first phase in Nashville's hockey evolution. The always-appreciated Barry Trotz makes way for unceremoniously-dumped Peter Laviolette, a coach who will be expected to make even more of this always promising team.
Photo: Felix Girard led the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in faceoff percentage (61-percent) and penalty minutes (43) during the club’s 22-game run to the President’s Cup finals (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The 2013-14 post-season was memorable for many of the wrong reasons for the Nashville Predators at the pro level.
Photo: Swedish forward Filip Forsberg made his NHL debut with Nashville late in 2012-13, less than two weeks after he was acquired from the Washington Capitals (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
With the hockey season coming to a close, Hockey’s Future has begun awarding our “Prospect Awards” for each franchise. Each team has had its share of standouts, surprises – both good and bad, as well as players who find themselves excelling in a particular facet of the game. While the Nashville Predators do not find themselves in the playoffs this year, they have a crop of prospects that combine skill, speed, and physicality that promises to provide an exciting future for the club.
Photo: Defenseman Ryan Ellis is part of a young group of Nashville blueliners trying to help the team recover from the loss of Ryan Suter. (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
The Nashville Predators have been one of the most consistent teams over the last five years in terms of style of play. Barry Trotz and David Poile always put a team on the ice that has a defense-first mentality, and the system that the Milwaukee Admirals employ develops players that fit this mold perfectly. Homegrown players like Jonathon Blum, Roman Josi, and Gabriel Bourque have successfully made the transition from prospect to full time NHL player, and there are other players, such as Ryan Ellis, that are looking to make that jump soon as well.