The Nashville Predators may be looking at trades for the NHL Entry Draft Day
The Nashville Predators GM David Poile has said that he believes that the Nashville Predators need a player or two to get them over the top. One of the best ways to do that is via a trade.
There are several reasons that a trade would be a good idea right now for the Predators. We will look at three of them here.
Win Now Attitude
This Nashville Predators team took the San Jose Sharks to seven games in the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks went to the finals. If the Preds had enough scoring depth with another player or two they may have been able to finish off the Sharks and move on themselves.
The Predators have a good young core of players. At times, they played five rookies last season. The bulk of the team is 26 years old or under. There are at least three players that are in the last years of being able to help the Predators, though, Mike Fisher, Shea Weber, and Pekka Rinne.
There are some very fine young players that are going to drop to #17. What if there were a couple of teams that desperately wanted that young right-handed defenseman at #17? With the Predators history of hit-and-miss in the first round, wouldn’t you want a solid depth winger for switching picks in the first and a prospect?
A Deep Draft
Even if the Nashville Predators were to trade away their First Round pick for a couple of lower round choices, this is a deep draft and the Preds have actually found some really nice players in lower rounds. Shea Weber and Roman Josi were both second round players. Craig Smith and Mattia Ekholm in the fourth. The list goes on and on.
Wouldn’t you be happy if Poile could get at later round pick for Eric Nystrom? If the Blue and Gold can get a pick or two like Poile did yesterday for the seemingly crazy trade that Buffalo made for the rights to Jimmy Vesey, we say have at it.
There may even be a prospect or two in the Predators system that the team is losing faith in. Big defenseman Jonathan Diaby certainly hasn’t progressed as quickly as the Preds would have liked. Is it time to cut the cords and ship him for a draft pick? There are good players available throughout the draft, they aren’t always high draft picks.
It was said recently that like baseball if you have over a .300 average in the Entry Draft, you can make the Hall of Fame. The more picks you have, the better your chances.
A Special Year
This season there are more players available than normal. The Salary Cap only nudged up and it looks like there is going to be an Expansion Draft at the end of the season. That means that there are several teams that want to move players that they wouldn’t normally.
The Predators are well below the Salary Cap even after they sign Filip Forsberg to a new contract. They still have to worry about Ryan Johansen next season and James Neal the year after that but they could take on a players salary that someone else needs to rid themselves of.
That could be a Scott Hartnell or Rick Nash. There are several other players out there that teams would be willing to part with if they could make some room to sign other players. We are a big believer that Free Agency isn’t always the best avenue. There are a few players that go to the highest bidder that usually end up over-paying.
Teams are looking ahead to the Expansion draft too. If they don’t believe that their team can win this year, they may be willing to part with a good player for a prospect or picks that they won’t have to protect in the coming expansion. Now is the time to take advantage of that.
All of these things point to a trade between now and the end of the draft. Last season there were 26 trades during the draft with plenty of big names and #1 picks switching hands. The Nashville Predators may be in a good place to take advantage of that this year.
We will be watching the rumor wires and let you know if and when we hear something. Things could happen at any time.