Photo: The Nashville Predators have invested a lot of assets in European players like prospect Joonas Lyytinen over the years, but the returns have been somewhat sluggish (courtesy of Atte Rissanen/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators have one of their top prospects playing in the NCAA ranks — though Jimmy Vesey’s ultimate destination has been a source of much conjecture. The other five prospects playing college hockey are less established at this point.
Photo: JyP Jyvaskyla defenseman and Winnipeg Jets prospect Sami Niku (R) is one of a trio of defensive NHL prospects that competed for Finland in their gold medal run at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)
The 2015 NHL Draft saw six defensemen from Finland selected for only the second time since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 2004. Though none of those players were selected in the top two rounds — as current Pittsburgh Penguin Olli Maatta was in the 2012 draft class that was previously the largest — the 2015 draft class has increased the number of NHL-drafted defensemen playing in Liiga. This has helped to expand this list to a top 10 after listing just five players last year. Read more»
Photo: Calle Jarnkrok, acquired from Detroit in the David Legwand trade, registered nine points in 12 NHL games with the Predators in 2013-14 (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators made a big splash in the 2013 NHL Draft when they took defenseman Seth Jones with the fourth overall pick. Not surprisingly, Jones made the jump right to the NHL and was one of four defensemen 23 years of age or younger to see significant time in Nashville.
Photo: Defenseman Seth Jones, on pace to graduate from prospect status before the end of the season, has averaged 20:50 in ice time for the Predators as a rookie (courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators system contains some top-end offensive talent while the defensive skill is a bit lacking after Seth Jones.
Photo: After leading the Admirals in points and skating in 16 games with the Predators in 2012-13, Taylor Beck will return to Milwaukee as a featured skater for Milwaukee (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
Since their inception the Nashville Predators have been built primarily through the draft. A year removed from a season mired by free agency and injury struggles, general manager David Poile had to question the depth of NHL-ready talent in his prospect pool as the season wore down.