Nashville Predators: Midseason Grades for the Young Guns

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
5 of 9
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Filip Forsberg: 23 years old

It seems strange that Forsberg is in this group of players, but it’s definitely a positive. He may be just 23 years old, but Forsberg is easily Nashville’s most dangerous scoring threat every night. Currently, he’s leading the team with 34 points (15G, 19A), in spite of an injury-related absence for the first time in his NHL career.

Forsberg’s effectiveness is demonstrated in his varying placement in the lineup. He is an extremely rare breed of player: a possession-driving winger. Typically, it’s the center’s responsibility to maintain possession and set up wingers. A player like Prince Filip has a unique ability to create plays, as well as score. When the bottom six is having trouble producing, Forsberg can be slotted in to help generate scoring chances.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at his five-on-five possession numbers so far:

14:01 52.10 47.98 53.37

These numbers reflect exactly what you need from a top-six winger. He plays a huge number of minutes each night (remember, that time on ice doesn’t include special teams). Moreover, he gives the Nashville Predators a decent advantage in unblocked shot attempts.

His below-50% high-danger share is worrying, but more a trend seen in the team as a whole than Forsberg specifically. He is sheltered in the offensive zone, there’s no denying that. However, he’s producing more consistently than ever before, and earns a fitting grade from me.

Midseason grade: A