Pro : Valuable Youth Experience
In addition to a core of 25-year-old and younger players (including stars Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Roman Josi) the Nashville Predators regularly went into postseason battle with four rookies on ice, some nights five. Forwards Viktor Arvidsson, Miikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons, and defender Anthony Bitetto all gained significant playoff experience as rookies, while winger Pontus Aberg tasted his first ever NHL action under the brightest lights, playing in two games.
For a franchise who has historically been spoken of as ‘not having playoff experience,’ Nashville now owns a slew of up-and-comers who have weathered the tension of 14 playoff contests, including the pressure of four elimination games (holding a 3-1 record in them, no less), and roughly another game’s worth of sudden-death playoff overtime action.
Rookie speedster Viktor Arvidsson has already proved himself up to the task with everything on the line, netting an elimination game overtime goal to force a second round Game Seven. The future undoubtedly looks bright for the gold jerseys, with the sensation of playoff hockey being impossible to replicate in practice and thereby invaluable for a team’s young players.
But the postseason appeared a little less valuable for a few others on the roster:
Next: Con: Houdini on Ice