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.
Photo: Oscar Lindberg, shown here representing Sweden at the 2011 World Junior Championships, is off to a hot start with Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League. (courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Welcome to the December 2012 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind. This month’s edition features several players who will represent their country in the 2013 World Junior Championships. We also feature several players who, while posting decent numbers at their respective levels of competition, have fallen short of expectations through the first few months of the 2012-13 season.
Photo: Finnish defenseman Mikko Vainonen, the Predators' fourth round pick in 2012, is in his first season of North American hockey with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Nashville Predators have six prospects at the junior level this year; two in the OHL, one in the QMJHL, two in the WHL and one in the USHL. The four forwards are split into two big defensive shutdown checkers and two smaller, feisty offensively skilled playmakers that are led by Nashville's 2012 second round selection Colton Sissons and third round pick Brendan Leipsic.
Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and Nashville Predators prospect Brendan Leipsic currently sits among the WHL's top 10 scorers for the 2012-13 season (courtesy of the WHL)
CALGARY, AB. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Portland Winterhawks’ forward Brendan Leipsic is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week.
Photo: Jonathon Blum is one of three top defensive prospects on the verge of cracking the Predators roster when the NHL resumes play. (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
The Nashville Predators have a solid talent pool with good depth and plenty of two-way prospects but the organization is severely missing the high end talent at the forward position.