Going into his fourth full season with the Nashville Predators, Juuse Saros could see a year of immense growth, which could be a stepping stone to claiming the starting goalie spot in the near future.
With Pekka Rinne turning 37 years old in November, the Nashville Predators are going to need a huge season from Juuse Saros to prove he is the goaltender of the future for the franchise moving forward.
The 24-year-old will likely see a larger workload this season, with Pekka Rinne getting up there in age, so it is do or die for him to secure the Predators starting goaltending job for the foreseeable future.
Last season, Saros played in 31 games, starting in 27 of them, which was his largest amount of starts in his NHL career so far. He also had a record of 17-10-2, posting a save percentage of .915% and a goals against average of 2.62.
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Sure, those numbers were drop offs from previous years, but they were still great numbers for someone who had just received an increase in workload.
We should expect to see him become more comfortable with splitting starts with Rinne and could see him even start around 35 games depending on what goes on this season for the Nashville Predators.
In those projected 35 games, I could see Juuse Saros putting up a record of 22-11-2 with a save percentage of .927% and a goals against average of 2.40, which would be an excellent stepping stone for Saros.
A season like this could springboard his pursuit of the starting goaltender spot for the future, as Pekka Rinne could be retiring in the near future, as he is getting up there in age.
Saros will need to prove himself as well, as the Nashville Predators did add two solid goaltending prospects this offseason, with Connor Ingram coming in via trade and Ethan Haider being a nice draft selection in the fifth round.
Producing at the NHL level will be a crucial part of Saros getting a leg up on the competition and securing the job as the Nashville Predators backstop in the future.
This season is going to be a huge one for Juuse Saros, and it could be the year that he solidifies himself as the Nashville Predators starter of the future.