The Nashville Predators have a log jam at center. One player who may be caught downstream is 19-year-old Brendan Leipsic. Leipsic was Nashville’s third round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Kristopher Martel of The Predatorial three questions about Leipsic.
Q: If Leipsic is able to make the roster what do you think he has to contribute?
A: While doubtful, if Leipsic were to make the Predators active roster for the start of the season, fans could look forward to his speed and high level of skill. Whether or not last season was a fluke for him in Portland, scoring 120 points over his previous high of 58 the last season, Nashville definitely doesn’t want to rush him in his development.
Q: Could the Predators be looking at a Tyler Myers mess if they keep him now?
A: I don’t believe so; Nashville’s organizational mentality is “The Road to Nashville is through Milwaukee”. 120 points in one season isn’t enough to warrant him being rushed along and forcing
him into a situation where he may not be comfortable. While he’s looked fairly well at camp so far, if I’m Nashville I let him develop for at least another season before I bring him to the next level.
Q: Where does Leipsic fit in on the roster?
A: As is the case with plenty of Nashville’s forwards, he’s a quick and skilled center. The problem there is that there isn’t any room for him with the Predators right now. There isn’t any room for all of the centers the team currently has either. If he were to make the roster, he’d most likely find himself not in a center role but on a wing instead.
There is little doubt that Leipsic has NHL talent. The problem is the Predators do not need another NHL center. I hope that Brendan gets some playing time on the wing with the Milwaukee Admirals this year. That way the Predators front office and coaching staff will have some idea if moving him outside is an option or not. All in all this is a good problem to have. Some teams would love to have talent like this waiting for a call up.