Nashville Predators: Young Guys Itching to Get Their Shot

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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The Nashville Predators have a seriously good problem. They have a multitude of young players who can slot into the NHL line-up as early as this year.

The Nashville Predators have a history of building the team from within. Unfortunately, the expansion draft in 1998 didn’t quite have the same plethora of talent as the most recent Vegas one this past off-season. So, it was going to take years to build a contender. It has always been tough for the Predators to land big names in free agency. Nashville is a small market. Not to mention, the general consensus around the league has always been that Nashville wasn’t a hockey town. But, what is a team who wants to compete every year to do? The answer is build through the draft.

The Nashville Predators have always drafted well. They have absolutely thrived in the draft. Some of the great names that come to mind are Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm (see a trend here),  and many more great players. The most important part of drafting those great players is to develop them. You very rarely see a Predators prospect involved in a trade. The organization just doesn’t work that way. They draft players with the intention of helping them make it to the NHL. Their current crop of prospects are quite possibly the best in franchise history. A few players stand above the rest though. These players have the best shot at making the roster out of camp.