In the first edition of On the Rush for the 2012-13 season, we take a look at prospects either excelling at their respective levels of play as well as those players who are not quite living up to expectations. This month we take a look at how the NHL lockout is impacting prospects playing in the minor leagues and junior levels and also discuss several top performers from the recent Subway Super Series between Team Russia and the CHL's top players.
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.
In many ways, the Nashville Predators 2012 NHL Draft strategy mirrored the one they used for their 2011 draft. As in 2011, the Predators once again focused on forwards and selected only two defensemen and one goalie. The organization also once again selected a handful of overage prospects as well as several who are bound for the NCAA.
Being a draft prospect with some NHL bloodlines is certainly not a losing proposition, but it can sometimes be a burden that buries the prospect under the weight of inevitable comparisons.