Ahead of Saturday night’s game, the Nashville Predators called up Yakov Trenin and Miikka Salomaki when in reality, Eeli Tolvanen should have been the player to get the call.
Eeli Tolvanen has been on the cusp of being a regular on the Nashville Predators for the past couple seasons, and with Filip Forsberg injured and the Preds without a competent winger for the first-line left wing spot, Tolvanen should have fit in just right.
The Predators currently have fourth line regular Calle Jarnkrok playing alongside Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson on the first line, which made the Preds decision to call up Miikka Salomaki in place of Filip Forsberg very questionable, especially considering the fact they returned Yakov Trenin to Milwaukee on Sunday.
Eeli Tolvanen is the most NHL ready offensive prospect that the Preds have in their organization, so it is mind-boggling that they didn’t give them the call when one of their best offensive players is unavailable to play.
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After all, he impressed enough during the preseason to nearly warrant making the NHL roster outright, so you would think he would’ve gotten the call up in this situation.
The Preds could’ve played him with one of Ryan Johansen or Matt Duchene, which would’ve been the ultimate test to see if he was ready for the big leagues, as he would get a taste of what it is like to play against top line talent.
You can argue that his play would fit well next to both of those players as well, as he is a very skilled shooter, which he could use to feed off of Johansen or Duchene’s playmaking ability, being a nice temporary fix in place of Filip Forsberg.
Instead, the Nashville Predators continue to play Calle Janrkok, whose skill set is best suited on the fourth line in a defensive role, on the first line while bringing in yet another bottom line, defensive player to fill Forsberg’s spot in the lineup.
This personnel decision sacrifices offensive production and has shown as the Nashville Predators have now lost their last two games to teams that they really should be beating, which could end up costing the team later on in the season.
The best decision the Predators could make if they do decide to make another call up to replace Trenin before Tuesday night’s game against Anaheim would be to call up Eeli Tolvanen and give him a shot with the first line.
Chances are, the Preds will most likely get better results with Tolvanen on the first line than with Calle Jarnkrok.