Coming into the 2019 NHL Draft, the Nashville Predators are looking to add a piece to help them continue to contend and possibly push them over the edge to winning a Stanley Cup, which is why I think they should trade their first round pick.
The Nashville Predators should look to include their first round pick to trade for a guy who can help them now rather than waiting on whatever player they draft to develop, as the Preds Stanley Cup contention window is closing shortly.
There are some teams who are rebuilding who could possibly use the Preds 24th overall pick and have some decent pieces to give up for that pick, so it is definitely something the Predators shouldn’t rule out.
For example, the New York Rangers are rebuilding and have guys like Jimmy Vesey and Chris Kreider available via trade. Granted, Nashville Predators fans might not welcome Vesey to the team so fondly, after he refused to sign a contract as a college free agent, but Kreider would be a nice offensive piece to help the Preds mundane offense.
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Another team that could be interested in this pick would be the New Jersey Devils, who could either send Taylor Hall in a rental deal or inquire on a guy like Kyle Palmieri to help out their second line.
The Anaheim Ducks would probably be the most interesting trade partner, as they are absolutely loaded with talented top six forwards as they are headed into a rebuilding phase. Guys like Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg could possibly be on their way out.
The Las Angeles Kings are also in that same scenario as the Ducks, as they have a ton of talented players from their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup Winning teams who they could possibly make available. Tyler Toffoli possibly being the most interesting of the bunch as he is usually good for 20-25 goals a season, but is coming off of the worst season of his career.
The one thing that remains constant through all of these locations is the acquisition of the Nashville Predators biggest need: a scoring winger for their second line. They need a guy who can drop 20 goals a season on a consistent basis, ideally even more.
There are a multitude of possible trading partners for David Poile to work with and a lot of possible pieces to slide into that second line, but he needs to find the best fit to work with the team.
After all, the team’s power play was one of the worst in the league both during the regular season and in the postseason, so the Preds are looking for a guy who can shoot the puck on net, which is exactly what that power play needs.
The snipers in this free agency class are getting snatched up quickly, with Jeff Skinner and Jordan Eberle signing long term with their respective teams, it is looking more likely that the Preds are going to have to find their guy via trade.
With options looking slim, the Nashville Predators will have to work the trade market to get that final piece they need to contend for a championship.