Protected Players Option B:
8 skaters – 1 goalie
At first glance, this looks like a horrible deal compared to our first option since you can only protect 9 players instead of 11 and in most cases you would be right. However if the Predators go this route they can protect their best forwards while still protecting their top 4 defensemen at the same time.
- Forwards – Neal, Forsberg, Johansen, and Smith
- Defenders – Weber, Josi, Ellis, and Ekholm
- Goalie – Pekka Rinne
As you can see the Predators would still have an extremely formidable core of players available even with fewer players being protected. The downside is that the next best pick for an expansion franchise would be one of Nashville’s up and coming players like Kevin Fiala or Calle Jarnkrok.
Available for selection
- Forwards – Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson, Kevin Fiala, Miikka Salomaki, Austin Watson, Colin Wilson, Colton Sissons.
- Defensemen – Petter Granberg, Anthony Bitteto,
One quick look and it’s easy to see that the best choice for a new team is easily either Jarnkrok or Fiala by a long shot. While Fiala has much to prove still, Calle Jarnkrok has shown that he can play anywhere in the lineup, including the penalty kill and powerplay while still contributing offensively, and that very well could be enough reason for him to be drafted if the Predators opt to protect their defensive players over their up and coming generation of forwards.
Next: Who Will We Lose?