Photo: Miikka Salomaki plays a rambunctious style of hockey, but next season should see his offensive game grow (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
The Nashville Predators entered the 2011 NHL Draft without a first-round pick – having dealt their pick to Ottawa late in the 2010-11 season. Even considering just the short-term gain — Mike Fisher, obtained from the Senators, was Nashville’s third-leading scorer and helped the Predators win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history — that trade would have to go down as one of the best in franchise history.
Photo: Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Mattias Janmark-Nylen (#24), shown here in action with Sweden at the 2013 Karjala Cup, has been scoring a a point-per-game clip for AIK this season (courtesy of Janerik Henriksson/AFP/Getty Images)
The first quarter of the Swedish Hockey League’s 2013-14 season has come and passed, and there’s plenty to be happy about in the scouting community. The number of young, recently drafted players currently dotting the rosters of both SHL and Allsvenskan (second highest men’s professional league in Sweden) clubs is about as impressive as ever, as professional teams continue to have little concern about going to battle with line-ups that often only feature an average age of 23-25.
Photo: Finnish defenseman Mikko Vainonen, the Predators' fourth round pick in 2012, is in his first season of North American hockey with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Nashville Predators have six prospects at the junior level this year; two in the OHL, one in the QMJHL, two in the WHL and one in the USHL. The four forwards are split into two big defensive shutdown checkers and two smaller, feisty offensively skilled playmakers that are led by Nashville's 2012 second round selection Colton Sissons and third round pick Brendan Leipsic.
Photo: Jonathon Blum is one of three top defensive prospects on the verge of cracking the Predators roster when the NHL resumes play. (courtesy of Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)
The Nashville Predators have a solid talent pool with good depth and plenty of two-way prospects but the organization is severely missing the high end talent at the forward position.