Nashville Predators: Getting to Know Samuel Girard

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

Defensive depth is a necessity as injuries plague the Nashville Predators. Here’s a look at a player who could help the problem, Samuel Girard.

We’ve heard his name. We saw him in the preseason. We were quickly impressed and excited to see him make the next step into the NHL. Nashville Predators new defenseman Samuel Girard could help the Preds get past one of their biggest problems early in 2017: depth.

Girard made his NHL debut on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. Quickly, he etched his name on the score sheet with an assist in that game. Thursday night, he scored his first goal and added another assist in the Nashville Predators victory over the Dallas Stars.

It’s been a hot start for the 19 year-old rookie. Obviously, he’ll get his ice time with all the injuries Nashville is currently facing. But what is his future with the team? Let’s take a look at where he came from, and where he should end up.

More from Predlines

The Bio

Born in Roberval, Quebec, Canada, Samuel Girard was around the game of hockey at a very young age. He actually got his professional start at the age of 16 when he began a three-year stint with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

During his first season with the Cataractes, Girard recorded 5 goals and 38 assists with a +/- of 15. In his second year, he had 10 goals and 64 assists with a +/- of 24. Finally, in his final season, he recorded 9 goals and 66 assists with a +/- of 26.  Also, in the 2015-2016 season, Girard was awarded the Emile Bouchard Trophy, as he was the QMJHL Defenseman of the Year.

The Nashville Predators officially made Samuel Girard a part of the NHL when they drafted him 47th overall in the 2016 NHL draft. During this year’s preseason, Girard only recorded one assist and 3 shots on goal.

Obviously, Girard has already made a good impression on head coach Peter Laviolette with a goal and two assists in his first two games. The offensively minded defenceman clearly has a future with the Nashville Predators. But what about his present?

My assumption is that he will remain with the Nashville Predators for a while to come. Although, when the team is back at full strength, it may be hard to find a place for him. The Predators can’t send a young talent like that back down to the Q.

Next: Predators Still Have Room to Improve

Although Samuel Girard may not see as much ice time once the injuries dwindle down for the Predators, he shows great upside. His talent is one that Coach Laviolette will not let go, as he could help this Predators squad find great success again in 2017-2018.