Nashville Predators: Scariest Players in Franchise History

(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Mattias Ekholm

Ekholm is a guy that perfectly fits the mold of intimidating. He’s currently an important part of the Nashville defense, and grossly underrated. He does so many things that doesn’t always show up in the box score. The Predators did the smart thing by locking him into a contract extension in 2015.

During the Stanley Cup run, I kept noticing Ekholm and his fierce play. To this day I’m still of the belief that he’s overlooked. The guy forechecks, blocks shots and kills penalties relentlessly. He’s also the first guy to jump to the defense of a teammate in a scuffle, or chirping at the official when he’s unhappy. You need a guy like Ekholm that brings that emotional aggression on every play.

Unlike other enforcers, Ekholm has the ability to create offense. He has spent his entire NHL career with the Predators, tallying 20 goals and 90 points. Perhaps the most impressive part about him is his ability to be aggressive, while staying out of the penalty box.  Just 34 penalty minutes over 82 games last season despite having an aggressive playing style shows discipline.