Heading into his third season with the Nashville Predators, Nick Bonino is at a fork in the road in his NHL Career.
With the addition of Matt Duchene and the contract extension given to Colton Sissons, Bonino has now become an odd man out on a Nashville Predators roster that is stacked up the middle, which means it is important for him to contribute.
If he doesn’t contribute enough, he could find himself out of Nashville before the season’s end, as there are many options that could take his place, but what should Predators fans expect from him?
Last season was Bonino’s best since joining the Predators, scoring 17 goals and 35 points, increasing those totals by five and ten from the previous season, but even those numbers don’t justify paying a fourth-line center $4.1 million per season.
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Last season was the third-best in his NHL career, and as he heads into his age 31 season, this contract is starting to look like one of the worst contracts David Poile has signed in his NHL career, which could cause a possible trade.
There could be a lot more viable in-house options for the Nashville Predators in the bottom six, so he could find himself off the team by the trade deadline, but how would he fit in if he is still on the roster on opening night?
With that, I see Bonino’s point totals falling from last year, where he was called to have a bigger role on the team due to injuries, which is now unlikely due to the newfound organizational depth on offense.
With that being said, Bonino’s projection this season would be 10 goals, 12 assists for 22 points this coming season, as he would have less of an offensive role and will have to contribute more defensively.
If he found his way out of Nashville, his totals could be better, but with the role he has, it doesn’t look so hot for him.
After all, he could prove his doubters wrong and have a career season, but from the looks of it, it looks like he’s headed towards the end of the road of his Nashville Predators career.