Predators Report: Memorial Run

By Ken McKenna

The Nashville Predators have perhaps the least number of prospects playing in the CHL of any of the 30 NHL clubs. Nashville has just 4 draftees playing in Canada’s top development league, with 3 players competing in the Western Hockey League (WHL), and the other competing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

While the Predators’ quota of Canadian-trained players may be low, the percentage of those prospects still competing for the CHL’s top prize, the Memorial Cup, is probably the best amongst all NHL franchises. 3 of Nashville’s 4 CHL prospects- RW Jordin Tootoo, D Tomas Slovak and D Miroslav Durak – are still in the hunt for the Cup, while the 4th, D Dan Hamhuis, had a great season in spite of his team’s early ouster.

Hamhuis and his Prince George teammates lost a hard-fought opening round series to the Kootenay Ice, 4 games to 3. Dan, who is Prince George’s captain, finished the series with 5 assists, while also picking up 16 PIMs to go along with his –4 rating. The Cougars were an impressive 3-1 playing on Kootenay’s home ice, but were equally unimpressive at home, where they failed to win a game.

In terms of personal accomplishments, the 01-02 season was certainly one to remember for Dan. He finished the regular season 4th in scoring amongst WHL defensemen, picking up 60 points (10G, 50A) in 59 games. Hamhuis’ outstanding play has him in the running for 2 league trophies, as he is the Western Conference finalist for the WHL