Nashville Predators: Who’s Impressing In The AHL

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

The AHL is a great place for prospects to hone their skills or to adjust to American Ice. Milwaukee is fostering great talent for the Nashville Predators.

The Milwaukee Admirals are the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators. The Admirals are currently 4-1-0 and off to a blazing start. The Admirals have scored 21 goals and given up 16 against. On average that’s 4.2 goals per game while only giving up on average 3.2 goals. The good news is that most of these goals are coming from younger talent. Besides Harry Zolnierczyk who has a respectable five points in five games. The AHL is a wonderful place for prospects to come into their own, but not all prospects are stepping up.

Who’s impressing?

Emil Pettersson is currently leading the team in points with two goals and six assists. After an unimpressive pre-season, Pettersson was banished to the AHL where he’s gone on a tear. Frederick Gaudreau is now with the big club and so Pettersson has more ice time and points to show. He’s been a great playmaking center who looks like he could turn into the second line center the Nashville Predators’ desperately need. Pettersson should be on his way up if any forward goes down, especially a center.

Tyler Kelleher is a bit different from Pettersson as Kelleher had an impressive pre-season but was sent down in favor of more experienced options. It makes sense too, as Kelleher is a right wing and the current right wingers are Arvidsson, Smith, Watson, Salomaki, and Aberg. None of the players should be displaced, not even Aberg or Salomaki. Who are both good, but a bit snake bitten. The 22-year-old has six points in five games, most interesting is that five of those points are goals. Obviously, that’s a crazy rate and shooting percentage and it will fall, but not by much. Kelleher could probably use a full year in the AHL, but if injury strikes the wings in a bad way, Kelleher should be the first to make the trip to Nashville.

Who’s not?

Alexandre Carrier, like most of the prospects, had a less than impressive pre-season. He was supposed to be the next one on the depth chart for defense, but he was leapfrogged by Samuel Girard. Since that leapfrogging, Carrier has two assists in five games and is a minus player. He’s going up against top line talent and he’s struggling, but it is only five games in. This being said, Carrier needs to step up or he could risk being leapfrogged again. Jack Dougherty has looked good and could be a fixture on Nashville’s third pair for years to come.

Yakov Trenin has looked lost in his first five games. He has a goal and an assist but has looked less than impressive with only six shots. This is his first real season in the AHL and a slow start was almost expected. Let’s hope he picks it up once he develops chemistry with Kamenev or Pettersson. He shouldn’t see the NHL at all this year, but that isn’t too far fetched for the 20-year-old.

The kids are alright, and only getting better

Peter Laviolette‘s M.O. is mismanaging young talent and I’m a little curious how he handles the new kids. I’m almost resigned to the belief that Samuel Girard may never play an NHL game again and that Yannick Weber will play on the Predators for decades to come. Same goes for Cody McLeod. I’m not saying that Milwaukee’s stars should come up immediately, but they should be on speed dial if another forward gets injured.

Next: Tale of the Tape from NSH vs NYR

Milwaukee has some players who look like studs, or at least look like impact players in the NHL. If you live close to Milwaukee, I highly recommend you see them before they’re shipped off to Nashville.