Nashville Predators: Five bold predictions for the 2017 Predators

(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Goals, goals, goals.

Last season, the Predators finished the season ranked 11th in goals scored. However, only three players – Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, James Neal – notched 20 or more goals. They were only 11 goals away from being in fifth place. Those goals exist on the team this season.

Sure, Neal is gone. So are the 30 combined goals of Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson. So, the team needs to make up 53 goals from player no longer on the team. That should not be too hard.

Arvidsson and Forsberg can – and will – reach the 30 goal mark again. Probably more. Ryan Johansen can reach 20, even though he is known to assist. But, it is the second line that will matter the most. The combination of Nick Bonino, Craig Smith, and Kevin Fiala will attain 60 goals. That will be easy. Both Bonino and Smith are capable of 20 goals, and given the raise in minutes on the ice, they will reach that mark. Fiala is the wildcard, but his speed and creativity will be a deadly. Are there 20 goal on his stick? Absolutely. Do I hear 25?

Additionally, more opportunities for Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons will up their goal totals from last season. And, with Fiala on the second line, Pontus Aberg will find the ice, and the net.

When all is said and done, the Nashville Predators will be a top-five goal scoring team in the NHL.