Try to get over that Blackhawks logo on Seth Jarvis’ uniform when thinking about whether or not he’d be a good fit for the Nashville Predators.
None of us have any idea when the NHL, and sports in general, will get back to normal. However, a draft still has to occur at some point, and the Nashville Predators have a lot of ways they could end up going.
When looking over top players in this draft, Seth Jarvis of the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League is a name that should be all over your radar, if it’s not already. This guy is surging up the draft boards and sparking interest.
The Predators really need to keep building their offensive prowess with some of their veterans starting to reach past the peaks of their careers.
Players like Craig Smith, Kyle Turris and Nick Bonino are on the back ends of their respective careers, and the cupboard is going to start getting bare in this area if the Predators don’t start restocking with some top-end talent.
Take notice of Seth Jarvis
Jarvis is suddenly sprouting up as a highly probable first-round pick after his astounding second half of his most recent season in the WHL.
The final prospect rankings for this years’ draft from NHL Central Scouting has Jarvis at No.11 among North American skaters. He moved up from No.19 at the midterm rankings, per NHL.com.
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Not matter what level you’re on, when a player posts 1.69 points per game like Jarvis has done, then you know that player has a very lofty ceiling on the next level.
Jarvis finished with 98 points in 58 games after getting off to a rather ordinary start to his season. He rebounded in a big way and now his draft stock is soaring.
With the way Jarvis is surging up the draft boards, he may not even slip down far enough for the Predators to take him. But if he does, should the Predators seriously consider taking the speedy forward?
From my perspective, that answer should be a clear “yes”.
Undersized, but talented
The big reservation I have with Jarvis is he is very undersized. That doesn’t mean his talent, work ethic and speed can’t overcome that, and we see it happen all of the time.
Just look at a player like Viktor Arvidsson or Rocco Grimaldi on the Predators. It can happen, but the risk is higher when you like a player that is undersized. You have to hope that the player has a very high motor that knows how to go heavy on the forecheck and find open spaces on the ice to make plays.
One major reason why Jarvis is so intriguing is that he does seem to overcome his size limitations. The game is evolving into one that favors players that have speed as a big part of their game.
The Predators had a pretty strong draft last season, although we won’t know that for sure for a few more years. But the drafting of Philip Tomasino and Egor Afanasyev appear to be two solid picks from last year’s draft.
Now the Predators have to keep stockpiling their offensive weapons, but some may argue that the defensive side is more important at the top of the draft. It was a glaring weak spot, and the Predators will probably have to find something new for their bottom defensive pairing.
With that said, I think the defense can be corrected through new systems and philosophies, and calling up the right players from Milwaukee. They can also sign a key free agent to bolster up their defense.
Jarvis looks like a great fit
It will be interesting to see if Jarvis falls to the Predators. There’s a good chance someone else takes a leap of faith for Jarvis and he’s off the board before the Predators get to pick.
No one can really seem to agree on where Jarvis may go, other than most likely somewhere in the first round.
According to Jarvis’ scout profile from The Hockey Writers, they seem to think he definitely has the skills to eventually become a high-quality player in the top-six of the lineup. Perhaps another Craig Smith type of player for the Predators?
If Jarvis isn’t around for the Predators to take, I still think they need to go for a center, or a hybrid type of player. But Jarvis seems to be one of the top targets that has emerged for the Predators to look at, and rightfully so.
Whenever this year’s NHL Entry Draft finally happens, Jarvis is going to be one player, and probably the top player, on my list that I’m hoping falls to the Predators.
I’m just not so sure Jarvis will fall to where the Predators will be picking, but we won’t know that for sure until the 2019-20 season concludes in some way.