Predators: Top 20 prospects

By Brian Roe

Dan Hamhuis is the top prospect in the underrated Nashville Predators organization, followed by Scottie “Devil Boy” Upshall and featuring Timofei Shishkanov jumping into the top three.
First round pick Ryan Suter and feisty Jordin Tootoo round out the top five Nashville prospects.
Seven picks from the 2003 NHL Entry Draft move into the top 20 prospects and Oliver Setzinger makes his move up the charts as well.

Top 20 Prospects

1. Dan Hamhuis, D — The complete package. Hits, scores, plays defense.
2. Scottie Upshall, RW — Gritty two-way player. Could be in Nashville to stay this season.
3. Timofei Shishkanov, LW — Underrated prospect could be the scorer Nashville has never had.
4. Ryan Suter, D — College will do wonders. Sky is the limit.
5. Jordin Tootoo, RW — Love him if he’s on your team; hate him if he’s not.
6. Oliver Setzinger, C — Opened eyes at rookie camp with shot and speed.
7. Brian Finley, G — Injuries hurt his stock, but Finley could still pan out.
8. Brandon Segal, RW — Solid all-around game. Has a future with the team.
9. Kevin Klein, D — A right-handed Ryan Suter without the physical game.
10. Darren Haydar, RW — Solid scorer, but must prove he can play big.
11. Konstantin Glazachev, LW — Solid scorer and puck-handler but dives too much.
12. Matt Koalska, C — Quietly one of the best passers in the NCAA.
13. Shea Weber, D — 6’3 and may not be done growing yet. The blueliner is only 17.
14. Patrick Jarrett, C — Could be the steal of the 2002 draft.
15. Libor Pivko, LW — Will get some playing time in Nashville this season.
16. Richard Stehlik, D — Has the hardest shot among prospects.
17. Sergei Soin, RW — No contract; bad news and perhaps a bad trade (Tomas Slovak).
18. Denis Platonov, C — Another player who will get a chance in Nashville this year.
19. Paul Brown, RW — Plays similar style of good friend Scottie Upshall.
20. Andrei Mukhachev, D — Nashville hierarchy likes him.

Honorable Mention
Andrew Hutchinson, D — Trying to shed the ‘career minor-leaguer’ label already attached to him.
Matt Hendricks, C — 35 points in 37 games at St. Cloud State last season.
Konstantin Panov, LW — Nashville hopes he can repeat 100 point days of the WHL.
Kaleb Betts, C — Red-shirted last season with Nebraska-Omaha.

Where Did They Go?
Jonas Andersson, RW — This season is make or break for Andersson.
Daniel Widing, RW — Former second round pick.

Other Goaltenders in System
Matt Davis, G — 13 wins and a 3.23 GAA with Moncton of the QMJHL last year.
Mike McKenna, G — An unconvincing 1-7 record with a 3.69 GAA last year.
Teemu Lassila, G — Nashville couldn’t believe he was still on the board in the fourth round in 2003.
Rustam Sidikov, G — 2.10 GAA at Under-18 World Championships created his chance.
Miroslav Hanuljak, G — A 165-pound project.

Rest of the Draft Class from 2003
Alexander Sulzer, D — Typical Nashville pick: good attitude, character and work ethic.
Grigory Shafigulin, C — Teammates with Glazachev last year.
Lauris Darzins, LW — Predators have high hopes for low pick. Another Skrastins-like steal?