Zach Boychuk has been placed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes. (PHOTO: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Should The Nashville Predators Consider Zach Boychuk?

As Nashville Predators fans know very well by looking at their favorite team’s fourth line, Preds GM David Poile is a big fan of waiver acquisitions. You don’t have to give anything up to take them on, and sometimes you’ll find a diamond in the rough who can fit right in with your team.

With Patric Hornqvist for three to four weeks, Poile likely has his eye on the waiver wire as a way to shore up Nashville’s offense. If that’s the case, there’s no doubt he noticed that the Carolina Hurricanes put forward Zach Boychuk up for grabs today.


The first round pick (14th overall) for Carolina in the 2008 draft, Zach Boychuk was considered a top prospect alongside others in his class like Drew Doughty, Steven Stamkos, and Luke Schenn. He has spent most of his time as a professional in the American Hockey League, where he’s been a solid producer.

Though he has had a few bright spots in the NHL, including a two-goal performance against Ottawa in 2010-11, his time in the show has been a very different experience for Boychuk than his stint in the AHL. He’s also played in different situations on a Carolina team that has no lack of offensive punch.

Zach Boychuk is a fast and offensively gifted forward, the kind we don’t see around Nashville too often. He’s also on the small side, so if Nashville were to claim him he would be following in the footsteps of a long line of smallish, gifted Predators forwards (Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan, Cliff Ronning). However, he is known to lapse defensively from time to time; he and Craig Smith might get to be the best of friends hanging out in the doghouse together.

Zach Boychuk vs Craig Smith

Craig Smith and Zach Boychuk together would give a line some serious speed. (PHOTO: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Boychuk would add some offensive talent to a team that’s desperately in need of shots on goal, and he plays left wing, a position that’s a bit shallow in the Nashville organization right now. He could add another option on the power play as well as in the shootout, where Nashville has had trouble this season. He also wouldn’t cost anything to pick up and could be placed back on waivers if he didn’t add anything to the team. Given the low risk in acquiring him, he seems like like the perfect David Poile pickup: a low risk with a potentially high reward.

What do you think?

Should the Nashville Predators claim Zach Boychuk on waivers?

  • Yes (100%, 62 Votes)
  • No (0%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 62

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Tags: Nashville Predators Zach Boychuk

  • Christopher-J Carlson

    I’ve never followed Zach Boychuk *very* closely, but he’s always been a player that I could see in a Predators jersey. In the current situation, with Hornqvist out and the team struggling offensively, I think he’d be a great pickup. (And not to replace Clune, who’s giving the team 100% effort! Smith should not be playing.) I’d put Boychuk on a line with guys who have offensive potential but haven’t had much chance to show it off (for whatever reason), and tell him his main focus, whenever the puck leaves the Predators zone, is to lead the rush for the line; to be the offensive catalyst. And if one of the team’s more offensive-minded guys is struggling, Boychuk would be a top choice to replace them, unless Boychuk’s usual line happens to be tearing it up. Anyhoo…

    • Jason Kirk

      Only problem with benching Smith is that he eats up a roster spot if he’s not playing. We’re already carrying 23 players and he would have to clear waivers to be sent down to Milwaukee. I think the only candidates to be waived are Clune and McGrattan, and I still don’t really know why we’ve got both of them on board. Smith looked good last game on the fourth line and even got some power-play minutes; I think it’s a matter of finding the right linemates to play with him.

      I think that Smith centering Boychuk would be a two-thirds of a good fourth line. Throw Halischuk (or Clune if you decide to keep him instead of McGrattan) on the right wing and I think you have yourself a better energy line than we started the year with. Neither Halischuk nor Smith is afraid to get into the corners, so they eat up their 30-40 seconds per shift keeping the puck in an opponent’s zone instead of dumping, losing the puck, and heading back down ice. The undersized Boychuk could do a bit more roaming and be in good position to provide a little bit of extra attack on that line, and could be a nice second power-play unit option, too.

      • Christopher-J Carlson

        Yeah, I don’t know what McGrattan’s hanging around for. Is he waiting for a media spot to open so he can retire, like Belak and Grimson before him. (Man, I miss Belak. Great tough guy and great play-by-play man. Much better than Stu, IMO.)

        As for Smith, I really like your Boychuk-Smith line suggestion. I think Boychuk is the kind of guy that could help get Smith back into a groove. I get the impression that Smith is the kind of guy whose effort is strongly connected by how well he happens to be doing at a given time. So, when he gets in a rut, he gets in deep. He’s got more natural talent than half the team, unfortunately we don’t see it near enough.

        And Halischuk would be a great third man for them; someone who can watch their backs defensively but can keep up offensively without pause. I’m a big fan of Halischuk and believe he has more offensive potential than he’s shown. With him I get the impression that his dedication to the defense-first philosophy of the Preds is holding him back from taking more chances offensively.


  • Jason Kirk
    • Christopher-J Carlson

      Ah, poop. They don’t need to get any better.