The Nashville Predators have some bright light defensemen in their pipeline, and several two-way forwards that look like they just came out of the Nashville mold. The top three prospects in the organization are all blueliners with NHL experience, led by the youngest of the three, Ryan Ellis. The remainder of the top ten prospects includes some interesting forwards that run the gamut from a top checking-line, shutdown type in Austin Watson to the pure scorer Pontus Aberg, one of many 2012 draft picks making their debut in the Predators Top 20 this fall.
The Nashville Predators do not have a first round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. That is a result of the trade they made with the Buffalo Sabres for Paul Gaustad at the trade deadline. The Predators did however trade Anders Lindback to the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 15th for two second-rounders. Thus, the Predators first selection in the 2012 Entry Draft will be the 37th overall pick.
At the trade deadline, the Nashville Predators traded away their first round pick in 2012 as well as their second round picks in 2012 and 2013. While it may seem like they gave up a lot of future assets, they did so with the knowledge that many of their top prospects are gradually meeting their potential. The inaugural edition of the HF Prospect Awards is a testament to this notion as many of the recipients have seen time this season in the NHL.