Shishkanov gets the call

By Brian Roe

Shishkanov Gets Call

The Nashville Predators announced Sunday that the team recalled forward Timofei Shishkanov from the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.

Shishkanov, 20, leads the Admirals in scoring this season with 17 points in 27 games. The 6’1″, 210-pounder was the Predators’ second choice, 33rd overall in the second round in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

Shishkanov could make his NHL debut Monday when the Predators face the Phoenix Coyotes.

The left winger is arguably the most talented offensive prospect in the system for the Nashville Predators. Last season he notched 82 points (36 goals, 46 assists) in 51 games with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

Shishkanov is noted for his blazing speed, ability to handle the puck and knack for finding the back of the net. The Russian native draws comparisons to former Russian teammate and current NHL superstar Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers.

The two draw similar offensive comparisons; however, a noticeable difference is Kovalchuk made a reputation for his constant desire to score a goal every time he touches the puck, whereas Shishkanov’s passion was at times questioned in the past.

For now, the only thing question asked is when and where the talented young forward play. The Predators currently have 15 forwards, including seven left wings, on their roster, so the distribution of playing time could play a factor.

On paper, Shishkanov would seemingly be a great fit on a scoring line with skills players like David Legwand or Martin Erat where he could utilize his offensive capacities. More likely though head coach Barry Trotz will probably ease the young forward into the lineup on the third or fourth line.

News and Notes

Sulzer Progressing with Germany

The 2004 IIHF World under-20 championships (division one, group B) named Nashville prospect Alexander Sulzer the best defenseman of the tournament. Sulzer, 19, recorded two goals and seven assists in five games with Germany. Nashville selected the 6’2″, 213-pounder in the third round of last year’s draft.

Hamhuis again

Top prospect Dan Hamhuis continued his stellar season with the Nashville Predators by scoring the game-winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings. The 21-year-old scored the only goal of the game and helped goaltender Tomas Vokoun and the Nashville defensive corps shut out the powerful Red Wings. Hamhuis recorded 10 points and 29 penalty minutes in 31 games with the Predators this season.

Fruits of Thrashers trade

Center Simon Gamache has posted four points in six games so far with the Milwaukee Admirals. Gamache and former first round pick defenseman Kirill Safronov were traded to the Predators from the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Tomas Kloucek and forward Ben Simon earlier this month. Nashville hopes it got an offensive player who can produce at the NHL level in Gamache, an offensive weapon in juniors and the minors.

Assists for Andrew

Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson registered his first two NHL points last week in Montreal. The 23-year-old recorded two assists in the 5-4 overtime loss to the Canadiens. He was a healthy scratch in the game against Detroit.

Young Preds

Hutchinson joins Nashville prospects Scottie Upshall, Jordin Tootoo, Shishkanov and Hamhuis as rookies on the big club. The Predators continue to get younger with nine players on the active roster 23 years or younger. Joining the four rookies in the 23-or-under club: David Legwand (23), Adam Hall (23), Martin Erat (22) and Scott Hartnell (21).