By Amanda DiPaolo
This morning’s Game Preview wondered why Gabriel Bourque was left off the pre-season roster for the third game in a row. After morning practice, Predlines asked Coach Barry Trotz if Bourque had earned an opportunity to play a preseason game. “I think in the future, Trotz said, adding “Right now, not this year.”
Bourque was drafted in the fifth round, 132nd overall by the Predators in the 2009 entry draft, and turned heads several months later at the World Junior Hockey Championships when he scored 3 goals and registered 6 assists in 6 games. Bourque has also impressed at camp, both in Florida playing against the Panthers rookies as well as in drills at the Centennial Sportsplex. The lack of preseason action for Bourque isn’t because of his inability to impress the coaching staff. “I like Gabriel. He’s got a really competitive fire. He’s got good skills. He goes to those nasty hard places that you score goals. He’s just a little young,” Trotz said.
The Predators have a lot of depth at forward which Trotz says is something the team needs to sort out. One of the reasons why Nashville went to the scrimmage-based training camp was so they could evaluate players who are in the same position as Bourque. Though he won’t be starting the season in Nashville, Trotz believes that it’s only a matter of time for the Rimouski, Quebec native. “He’s one of those guys that I can see playing in the National Hockey League,” Trotz said of Bourque’s future.
Tonight, the Predators host the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena. Limited Tickets are still available.