November marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month and it started with a relief to the Nashville Predators and the rest of the hockey world.
Breast cancer awareness started off with joyous news as Florida Panthers’ centerman Vincent Trocheck‘s mother was declared cancer free. We all know someone who’s faced cancer and so we all should rally behind Trocheck. In case you feel strongly about this issue, you can donate here, or at your local hospital with time or money.
Hockey is just a game in the long-run, cancer is something that needs to be eliminated. Nevertheless, I’m happy for that Trocheck and his mother were able to let out a huge sigh of relief.
5. Who’s the odd center out?
The Nashville Predators now boast five centers on their roster. Ryan Johansen, Kyle Turris, Calle Jarnkrok, Nick Bonino, and Colton Sissons make up the corp. Unfortunately, only four can stay while one will move to the wing. I’m of the mind that Sissons will most likely anchor the fourth line while Bonino and Jarnkrok will play center/wing on the third line. Turris has made Bonino’s spot on the team a little unnecessary, and his contract a little albatross-y. But regardless, the roster is the way it is. I think a third line of Fiala-Bonino-Jarnkrok is perfect so that Bonino and Jarnkrok could switch faceoff duties when they’re on their strong side.
Maybe Sissons could play on the third line but I don’t think he’s better than Jarnkrok or Bonino. The real odd man out is Frederick Gaudreau, who will most likely head down to the AHL once Bonino reactivates from the IR.
4. The Avalanche made out like bandits
I’m extremely shocked that this trade actually happened. I really expected it to stay a rumor forever and to haunt Predators fan’s endlessly. Right now, we don’t know who the exact winner is, but most seem caught between the Predators and Avalanche. All I know is that the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche got exactly what they needed.
The Avalanche got a king’s ransom for Duchene, including a first, second, third, a blue-chip defensive prospect, and two center prospects. Samuel Girard will be a top-four defenseman almost immediately, although I’m afraid he’ll be exposed with a lesser linemate. He’ll still be a great offensive talent but he’ll be a wreck in his own zone without Mattias Ekholm by his side. I just hope that Predators fans don’t have some kind of confirmation bias as they misremember Girard as a poor player. That being said, the real haul wasn’t something the Avalanche got from the Senators or Predators.
The biggest get was a larger opportunity at Rasmus Dahlin. My background is as a scout for a junior team and let me tell you, I’ve never seen a prospect like Dahlin. Not even Erik Karlsson made the impression that Dahlin is making. Dahlin could easily turn the Avalanche around, especially with a partner like Samuel Girard at his side. But if the Predators go all the way, they instantly become the real winners.
3. There’s a Girard size hole on the defense, which might be perfect for Carrier
As I previously mentioned, the Nashville Predators gave up Samuel Girard as part of a package for Kyle Turris. There’s now a top-four hole on the roster, as Alexei Emelin has demonstrated he is no longer top four material. Luckily for the Predators, the answer might not have to come through a trade as Alexandre Carrier looks ready to step in.
The defender hasn’t been putting up the same numbers as last year but he’s been facing tougher competition and playing in more of a defensive role. I think he’s ready for full-time NHL minutes, especially next to a player like Ekholm or Subban. If not Carrier, then maybe Jack Dougherty, but that probably won’t happen until at least next year.
2. America’s domination of rookie scoring
Hooray for American hockey. Nine of 20 top rookie scorers in NHL are American, including the first and second place players. Clayton Keller, Brock Boeser, Will Butcher, Sonny Milano, Charlie McAvoy, Alex Tuch, Kyle Connor, Alex DeBrincat, and Connor Brickley are those players, in the descending order. Business is good for American hockey, not only those young players, but Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel are wonderful as well.
Canada won’t go down easily, as Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby are no pushovers. But the Americans could be gunning for Gold over the next two decades. It’s the best time ever to be an American hockey fan.
1. Kyle Turris is not good for Pettersson
Those that know me understand how much I love young prospects and their potential. I especially like Emil Pettersson, who I had some major reservations on. He’s proven that he’s ready for NHL minutes as he’s torn up the AHL on the stat sheet. And he’s not terrible in his own zone as well. I was higher on Kamenev because he had more time in the AHL, but now that he’s on the Colorado Avalanche, the time is seemingly Pettersson’s. The bad news is that the Nashville Predators have too many qualified centers (oh my god that’s the first time I’ve ever written that). I’m of the mind that you should never lessen a strength to address a weakness. But this might be too much.
Emil Pettersson or Frederick Gaudreau are expendable as there are five capable centers on the roster. Maybe trading Gaudreau or Pettersson for a mid-round pick or in a package for defense might help. Maybe Pettersson plus a first round pick for a top-four defenseman, although none come immediately to mind. What I do know, is that Turris means that Pettersson has no shot at the NHL in the foreseeable future. Well, as long as the injury bug doesn’t rear its ugly head.