The Predators have defensive stability waiting at the NHL's gates with Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi leading the way, and many of the team's other top prospects are also playing in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. The depth of the organization is apparent in the many notable prospects on the horizon currently developing in junior, college, and European leagues. Below are some of the Nashville Predators prospects to watch during the 2012-13 season.
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Physical, skilled forwards
- Balanced defensive depth
- Goaltending depth
- Top-end scoring forwards
- Center depth at pro level
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
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.
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.
- Taylor Aronson
- Anthony Bitetto
- Zach Budish
- Felix Girard
- Max Gortz
- Aaron Irving
- Joonas Jarvinen
- Janne Juvonen
- Teemu Kivihalme
- Joonas Lyytinen
- Saku Maenalanen
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