Nashville Predators: It’s Do or Die For Mikael Granlund In 2019-20

(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Heading into his first full year with the Nashville Predators, Mikael Granlund must prove himself as a valuable asset to this team. If not, this could also be his last.

Mikael Granlund struggled mightily since joining the Nashville Predators last season, scoring only one goal and five points in his 16 games as a Predator, adding a goal and an assist in the team’s six-game playoff series loss to the Stars, so this season is going to be huge for proving his worth.

Granlund will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so it’s do or die for him, as he looks to get a huge raise on his contract next offseason.

Granlund is making $5.75 Million per year on his current contract, so if he wants to secure himself a $7-8 million deal like the rest of the wingers in his tier has been receiving, he is going to have to play like them.

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The 27-year-old Finnish winger is going to have to play like he hasn’t ever played in his career, and with Matt Duchene and Craig Smith on his line, it won’t be too hard.

He is going to have to break his career-high of 69 points, a total he reached in the 2017-18 season, following it up with 67 points the following season, which was a solid way to keep the momentum going.

The same couldn’t be said about the 2018-19 campaign, which saw him score just 54 points in a season he split between the Minnesota Wild and the Nashville Predators.

Much of that could be attributed to the fact that he didn’t have time to adjust to the Predators system, so with a full offseason to prepare, we could very well see a bounceback year for the Finnish winger.

He is going to be playing with one of the best centers in the NHL in Matt Duchene, so that could help him do so a lot, as Duchene can not only set Granlund up for goals, but also score some of his own to help Granlund rack up some assists.

The combo between the two of them will be something to watch going into next season, as they could be dynamic enough to overshadow Nashville’s famous JOFA line.

With that being said, I can see Granlund scoring roughly 30 goals and 72 points, breaking his career highs in both categories.

This year is a huge year in the trajectory of his career, so we could very well see Granlund step up and become a huge part of this Nashville Predators team.

He is playing with quite possibly the best linemates he’s ever had in his career, and with time to adjust to Peter Laviolette‘s system, there is no telling what he could do this season.

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After all, we’ve seen a ton of players have the best season of their career in the final year of a contract, so Mikael Granlund could be the beneficiary of that in the 2019-20 season.