The highly-anticipated debut of Eeli Tolvanen was without much of a bang. He appeared in just three games late in the season, recording three shots on goal. There’s no reason to look too much into his brief NHL action. However, he’ll have a much bigger role going into 2018-19. Take a look at what Tolvanen had to say about going into next season, per John Glennon of Glennon Sports:
"“I mean, just get stronger and faster, those are the two biggest things because I’m not the biggest guy. So, I can battle in the corners with the bigger guys. Those things are the things I have to improve most."
As a first-round pick from 2017, the pressure on Tolvanen will keep increasing. Patience will be needed as he’s still just 19-years-old and needs more time to adjust to the NHL. With that said, we know that he’s high-caliber thanks to his production in the KHL and other worldwide tournaments like the Winter Olympics. Now we want to see that start transferring to the NHL level.
I don’t expect Tolvanen to light the world on fire, but a bigger impact will be important. He’ll be more of a regular in the everyday lineup. A full offseason for him to focus on just the Predators will be a major benefit that should show up on the stat sheet sooner rather than later.