We’re continuing our Nashville Predators player previews with Viktor Arvidsson. He’s still entering the pinnacle of his career.
We find the Nashville Predators still in a very solid position thanks to so many players entering the prime of their careers. Arvidsson fits into that mold as he’s the igniter of the team’s top line, alongside Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. He sprung into the NHL unexpectedly in 2015, scoring a goal to open up the 2015-16 season. He hasn’t looked back since.
Arvidsson is the definition of using every ounce of your raw talent. His energy, aggression and hustle fuels the Predators on nights when the rest of the team is lacking it. Many times he carries himself with a swagger that you don’t regularly see in hockey.
We welcome in the new season hoping that Arvidsson can continue his ascension into being an elite scoring winger. A player who can change the trajectory of a game all on his own. He’s one goal shy of three-straight seasons with 30-plus goals. That’s with missing 24 games last season. A fully healthy season could mean a record-breaking season in goal scoring for him.
What to expect this season
Arvidsson is going to remain a critical piece of the offensive formula for the Nashville Predators. He has an outstanding chemistry with his linemates on what we call the “JoFA” line. His season was unfortunately disrupted by what was called an upper-body injury last season. It undoubtedly took some momentum away from a hot start to his season.
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We have to hope he avoids the injury bug this season. The Predators really can’t afford to lose him, and see a disruption in how their lines are constructed. If nothing else, for the sake of fixing a last-place power play. Arvidsson thrives on power play as he has more open ice to use his speed to create scoring chances. He had just four power play points last season, which is downright atrocious. I don’t expect that same inefficiency this season.
Arvidsson isn’t just good on the power play, but he’s even better at 5-on-5 scenarios. This is where he does most of his damage. You spend more time in 5-on-5 situations than any other, so this is an ideal area to be really good at. He really does damage off the rush, as The Point highlights here in their countdown:
Being so great in this area of his game is why I think he’s poised for a 40-goal season sooner rather than later. Arvidsson makes his own bread without having to always rely on everything around him being perfect.
The Predators are going to be superb offensively this season, and Arvidsson will be a big reason why. His game is still growing. He’s rounding out into a more complete player, but his offense and ability to push the puck up the ice quickly will remain top-notch. Teams can scout all they want against him and still will have nightmares defending him.
Arvidsson’s 2018-19 shooting percentage of 17.4 shattered his previous career high of just over 11. That’s good for top-20 in the NHL if you factor in a minimum number of games played to 50. It means he’s getting a lot of pucks on net and creating a lot of scoring chances. That will translate into a lot of goals, and 40-plus if he stays healthy for most of the season.
This season is going to be another solid one for the offense of the Nashville Predators. Arvidsson is going to lead that charge along with Forsberg and Matt Duchene on the second line. Can depth scoring show up and can the Predators defense stay as one of the best after losing P.K. Subban are my bigger areas of concern. As for Arvidsson, I’m calling my shot that he stays moderately healthy, appears in close to 80 games and surpasses 40 goals to lead the team.