After showing glimpses of greatness last season, Eeli Tolvanen is ready to step up and make an impact on the Nashville Predators roster full time.
The 20-year-old Tolvanen, who the Nashville Predators selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, split his time between the NHL and AHL this season and is looking to be on the roster for the entire season this year.
Tolvanen’s four-game stint in the NHL included his first NHL goal, which was a very beautiful backhand goal that he lifted past Cam Ward of the Chicago Blackhawks, looking very much like a proven NHL scorer.
He possesses a shot that could be amongst the best in the NHL and he could very much benefit from the Nashville Predators addition of Matt Duchene this offseason, as this means he will be playing with a quality center no matter which line he plays on.
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He brings more offensive upside than any of the other bottom six options in the organization and if paired with one of Kyle Turris or the aforementioned Matt Duchene, he could be due for an absolute breakout season in his first full year in the NHL.
If he plays on the NHL roster this season, he could score as many as 30 goals this season, especially if he finds his way onto Matt Duchene’s wing this season.
We already saw how Matt Duchene can make the players he play with better with the emergence of Ryan Dzingel, who just got inked by the Carolina Hurricanes after two solid seasons on Duchene’s wing, so there’s no telling what he could do with Eeli Tolvanen.
Duchene is an elite playmaker, which would work absolutely perfectly with the absolute sniper that Eeli Tolvanen is, which would make for one of the deadliest duos in the NHL
The more likely option, however, would be Kyle Turris, who is still a very good playmaker and could help Tolvanen the same way Duchene can, but not to the same extent obviously.
I do see Tolvanen making the roster out of camp, as he has been carefully working on his game over the last few years and he is definitely ready to compete at the NHL level. He has one of the most elite shots out of any NHL prospect and he should be ready to showcase it in the big leagues.
As far as a season prediction, I could see Tolvanen scoring 25 goals, 35 assists and 60 points this season, being one of the premier scorers on the Nashville Predators roster while playing next to a guy who can bring out the best in him: Kyle Turris.
He has what it takes to be one of the best players in the league in the near future and I can see a debut season next year as a huge step in the road to greatness for Eeli Tolvanen.