Nashville Predators Three Questions on Draft Day

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg (9) takes a shot. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg (9) takes a shot. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators may have several decisions to make on NHL Entry Draft day.

The Nashville Predators GM David Poile will probably not get a lot of sleep between now and the end of the NHL Entry Draft on Friday and Saturday of this week.  He will be making and receiving a lot of phone calls.

The calls could include other GMs looking for a trade partner, talking to members of his scouting staff, calls from Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok‘s agents, and a call to the Preds representative at the Draft with their next pick.  He could also call a current member of the team or two to let them know they’ve been traded.

David Poile and the Preds, in general, may have an awful lot of decisions to make this week. Here are a few of the things that they might have to choose.

Picking the next Filip Forsberg

Young Forsberg is the kind of star that you build your team around. The Nashville Predators haven’t been particularly adept at choosing First Round stars.  In fact, if you read our article outlining the past First Rounders, they’ve been average at best.

Related Story: Preds Top First Round Picks

This looks like a deep draft. Although the Predators haven’t been extremely successful in the first they have made some good choices in other rounds.  Shea Weber and Roman Josi were Second Round picks. Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm were both chosen in the Fourth in 2009 and Patric Hornqvist was the final pick of the draft in the Seventh Round of 2005.

There are always some hidden gems out there, and the teams that find them are teams that are successful down the line.  Filip Forsberg was the 11th pick in the First Round of 2012 Entry Draft but it was the Washington Capitals who chose him and later traded him to the Preds.

Make a Trade

The week leading up to the Entry Draft and during the draft itself there are usually a lot of trades.  That may be even truer this season.

Last year during the Entry Draft there were 26 trades including Dougie HamiltonMilan LucicRyan O’Reilly, Martin Jones, and Antti Niemi and about eight 1st round picks.  There have already been a few trades this week.

Related Story: Preds Trade Vesey's Rights to Buffalo

The Nashville Predators trade Jimmy Vesey’s rights to Buffalo for a Third Round Pick. The New York Rangers traded the rights to Keith Yandle to Florida and the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for goaltender Frederik Andersen.

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Teams are thinking ahead to the NHL Expansion Draft where they can only protect so many players.  That includes only one goaltender which is why Anaheim was willing to trade Andersen and why Marc-Andre Fleury might be on the market. There are teams that know that if they don’t trade certain players and receive draft picks or prospects they may lose them to expansion.

There are also several teams that already right up against the Salary Cap and have to trade someone to save money to sign other players.  The Chicago Blackhawks already traded Brian Bickell and promising forward Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina for just that reason.

The Nashville Predators are looking to trade Eric Nystrom for a pick.  There are rumors that they are in on both Scott Hartnell and Rick Nash.  This is the time of year that trades like these are more prevalent with the Entry Draft and Free Agency coming up.

Related Story: Rick Nash Trade Rumors

Offense or Defense

It was originally thought that the Nashville Predators would focus on forwards in this draft. That was before they lost several defensemen in their pipeline to Europe and the KHL.

There should be good options available for both offense and defense when the Nashville Predators make their choice.  They could also go with a goaltender a little later in the draft as Pekka Rinne is not getting any younger.

Check out our  Prospect Reports on players the Predators might consider at #17:

Max Jones               Julien Gauthier     Kieffer Bellows

Dante Fabbro         Riley Tufte             Jake Bean

Michael McLeod   Luke Kunin            German Rubtsov  

 Charlie McAvoy

One way or another, it could be a wild ride this week both for the Preds and around the league.  That’s what make this time of year fun.

Next: Are The Preds in on Scott Hartnell Trade Rumors

Stay tuned for more updates and prospect reports right up to the draft.