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: Gatineau’s Yakov Trenin, the Predators’ first pick of the 2015 Draft, got a late start on the QMJHL season due to training camp but can provide steady offense for his club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators organization has undergone quite a transformation in the nearly 17 months since Peter Laviolette took over as the second coach in franchise history. That transformation figures to continue as some of the veterans brought in to revive the franchise eventually retire or are moved to make room for the young prospects coming up through the system.
Photo: Nashville prospect Vladislav Kamenev had just one goal in the KHL playoffs as Metallurg failed to defend its Gagarin Cup title (courtesy of Terry Wilson/CHL Images)
Although the top prospects in the Nashville Predators organization currently skate for AHL affiliate Milwaukee, there are many players competing at the NCAA level or in European leagues this season.
The distance from North American professional hockey is telling in some cases, but there is no lack of quality prospects in the two different developmental venues.
Photo: Colton Sissons, who spent time with Nashville in 2013-14, is one of the organization’s top AHL goal scorers. (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)
The Nashville Predators figured to make changes once long-time coach Barry Trotz was replaced and Peter Laviolette was hired. If the addition of veterans like James Neal, Mike Ribeiro, Olli Jokinen and Derek Roy has changed things in the current lineup, the impact that some of the prospects in the pipeline will have could make things really interesting.
Photo: Minnesota State-Mankato forward and Nashville Predators prospect Zach Stepan will be a main cog for one of the WCHA’s top offensive teams (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon Sportswire)
The 2014-15 season in the WCHA gets fully underway this weekend. Ferris State University was the 2013-14 regular season conference champion, while Minnesota State-Mankato was the winner in the WCHA Final Five tournament. The former was previewed in part one of the Hockey’s Future 2014-15 WCHA preview, while the latter is being previewed here in part two of this NCAA conference preview. Read more»