Nashville Predators: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The holidays are the season of giving thanks. This year the Nashville Predators need to give thanks and be grateful for the gift that keeps on giving.

Happy holidays, Predator fans! During this season of cheer and giving, we want to take the time to give due praise to Filip Forsberg, the gift that keeps on giving. Predator fans are constantly gifted with brilliant saves from Rinne, vicious brawls from McLeod, and master acquisitions by Poile and the front office. However, we cannot forget about one of the best gifts we have in Nashville: Filip Forsberg. The Swedish winger is as smooth, skilled, and developed 23-year-old winger that you’ll find in the NHL. The Washington Capitals basically wrapped him up with a bow, and sent him to Nashville for free.

In his first season in Smashville, Forsberg made it clear that he was thankful for his opportunity with the Predators. With that, he began to give back to the team and its fans with beautiful passes, laser wrist shots, and some of the best puck handling this side of the Mississippi.

Pre-Nashville Forsberg

Believe it or not, Forsberg was not always the superstar that we see today. In his two years of high level Swedish hockey, Forsberg tallied 18 points in 53 games. He was solid, showed signs of high potential, but not consistently blowing his competition away. Fast forward though, he was the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The Washington Capitals took a chance on an 18 year old player that they felt had great potential. But the Capitals thought it was their year, and mortgaged their future for some present help. On April 3, 2013, they sent the Nashville Predators an early Christmas present that would only get better.

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 18: Filip Forsberg
NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 18: Filip Forsberg /

The Gift…

In my mind, this was undoubtedly the best trade in the history of the Nashville Predators. They received a budding superstar in exchange for two players who would never be of any further significance. Forsberg spent his first full season under contract with Nashville, in Milwaukee. He played 47 games in the AHL that year. Filip scored 15 goals, had 19 assists, and a +7 rating.

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Forsberg would enter the NHL full time for the 2014-2015 season. Since then, Forsberg has played three 82 game seasons. Filip has recorded 63, 64, and 58 points in those seasons, including two 30+ goal seasons. He has 60 goals and 73 assists in 182 games in Nashville. In 2015, Forsberg was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and the NHL All Star Game.

This season, Forsberg already has 11 goals and 12 assists through 21 games. If he was able to keep up those numbers, he will finish at 90 points, which would be a Nashville Predators record.

…That Keeps on Giving

To put it simply, Forsberg has become a superstar in Nashville. He has become one of the smoothest yet electric forwards in the league. He has fantastic puck control, great vision, and a lightning fast shot with deadly accuracy. Forsberg is developing into the full package for the Predators and is on the cusp of being an NHL superstar. He continues to develop into one of the better wingers in the league, and only makes those around him better.

Forsberg is a member of the JoFA line that was the 3rd most productive line last year, and is consistently a scoring threat on the ice. The advanced statistics show that he’s a positive factor in every aspect of the game, when on the ice. Right now, he only does good things.

#9 the gift that keeps on giving.

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In a nutshell, Filip Forsberg might be the best gift that Predator fans have been given in the last few years. The Capitals virtually gave away the best prospect from the 2012 NHL Draft, for nothing in return.Oops, their loss. Be thankful for Forsberg this holiday season, and enjoy #9, the gift that keeps on giving.