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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(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Frederick Gaudreau

Frederick Gaudreau was the Cinderella of the Grand Ball (Stanley Cup Finals) last season. It was all anyone could talk about-besides Subban’s breath and how crazy Nashville Predators fans are. Gaudreau was a guy who no one had ever even heard of, who scored his first three NHL goals in the Finals. Two of those goals were game winners. It was a magical run for the Predators through the playoffs, and it was a magical run for Gaudreau. Was that run enough for him to earn a full-time roster spot? We will see. Let’s make a case for why it should.

Gaudeau showed everyone he could play at an NHL level. He is a lot like Calle Jarnkrok in he can play any forward position you put him at. If you need him to take shifts as first line center, he can manage. If you need him to play wing on the third line to balance out the offense-done. He can play on any line with any player.

Gaudreau’s greatest strength is his hockey I.Q. If you talk to any expert, they will tell you the same. He’s always in the right position. The adage, “the right place at the right time” always rings true for him. He just understands the game so well and plays within himself. He never tries to overdo anything or play fancy. Gaudreau plays just a solid, well-rounded game.

This preseason, Gaudreau was definitely one of the players the Nashville Predators really wanted to watch. Unfortunately, he-like so many other Predators-was just so-so. He didn’t do anything that wowed me. You won’t be wowed if you look at his stats as well. Gaudreau had the fifth most ice time of any forward. In that time he racked up a pedestrian Corsi For% of 50.93-good for 17th on the team. He also came up with a below average Fenwick For% of 47.06-good for 20th on the team. He has managed to post two assists. However, he also has lost the majority of his faceoffs having a Faceoff% of 48.65.

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We all have seen what Gaudreau is capable of. The Nashville Predators are definitely going to give him a chance to start the season on the NHL roster. Especially since Nick Bonino is still not ready to go. Gaudreau is most likely going to slot into the fourth line, centering Austin Watson and Miikka Salomaki. If Gaudreau can find his Finals touch again, he will have a productive season from the fourth line.