Predators junior prospects season review

By Robin Thompson

The WHL boasts all three of Nashville’s current CHL prospects.

Cody Franson, D
6’5, 215 lbs
August 8, 1987
Drafted 79th overall, 2005

Being an alternate captain of the reigning WHL champions and a selection for Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championships has showcased the development of the multi-faceted defenseman. 

Franson plays in nearly every situation for Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay and excels in power-play opportunities with superb playmaking skills, combining a lethal shot with excellent vision.  He posted 51 points in 59 games this year and is sound in the defensive zone.

On the fringes for Team Canada he forced recognition with his offensive prowess and creativity, helping to earn a gold medal.  He is expected to join the pro ranks next fall and has already made an impression in the Predators organization.  He’ll likely start his pro career in Milwaukee of the AHL.

Viktor Sjodin, LW
6’0, 207 lbs
April 21, 1988
Drafted 206th overall, 2006

The versatility and rough-and-tumble work ethic of the young Swede are his greatest assets.  He compiled 13 goals and 25 points in 68 games for the last-place Portland Winter Hawks in his first WHL campaign.  His -32 rating (which was not the worst on Portland) may be misleading as scouts are impressed by his aggressive forechecking abilities.  Regularly delivering solid hits and comfortable at all forward positions, he is a valuable player.  He suffered a knee injury in mid-March.

Nashville will look to the young forward to develop further with Portland next year. 

Niko Snellman, RW
6’3, 215 lbs
March 12, 1988
Drafted 105th overall, 2006

A broken wrist held Snellman off of the playoff roster for the Regina Pats.  He tallied five goals and five assists in just 32 regular season games, gaining a +1 rating and 65 PIM. 

His size and hitting ability are strengths as well as a fiercely competitive nature.  His skating will need to improve in order to have a realistic NHL shot in the future.  He is a likely choice for the Finnish World Junior team next year and his performance at another NHL training camp this summer will influence his growth.

Copyright 2007 Hockey’s Future.  Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.