The NHL’s push to crown a Stanley Cup champion is unique and unprecedented. This first-ever playoff training camp can only benefit Nashville Predators.
Perhaps no one is going to benefit more from this postseason training camp for the Nashville Predators than the highly-touted prospect Philip Tomasino.
When it was announced that Phase 3 of the NHL’s Return to Play plan would incorporate a pre-playoff training camp, we learned that the Nashville Predators would be able to invite some of their top prospects to camp.
The training camp roster that was released reads like a “who’s who” of names trying to make their way up the ladder and into the NHL in the near future.
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Some of these prospects may even be added to the actual playoff roster. This extra face time with the Predators is something that will help all of the prospects, but especially Tomasino, who is quickly rising up the ranks and generating a lot of national buzz among the top NHL prospects.
It is every prospect’s dream to one day play in the NHL. In recent months, Tomasino has not been shy about stating his intentions to be on the Predators roster next season.
In a Nashville Post interview with Michael Gallagher, Tomasino stated that his top goal was to work hard this Summer, do well in training camp, and make the roster next season.
"“My goal is to make the NHL and make the Nashville lineup next year.”"
While his timeline may be a little off due to this strange playoff situation that the NHL is facing, the extra training camp can do nothing but help Tomasino accomplish his goal.
Tomasino’s goal may seem lofty to some, but with a flat salary cap next year, GM David Poile may be looking to save some cap space. Moving an entry-level prospect to the roster may be a good route to go. It will also help Tomasino with his cause.
Stats and the current roster
Tomasino put up some outstanding OHL numbers this season. In 62 games, he tallied 40 goals, 60 assists, and 100 points. He may have been able to pad these stats, even more, had the OHL’s season not been canceled due to the pandemic.
Tomasino, the 24th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, also received some top-notch help this season. According to the Gallagher interview, since being drafted, Tomasino has received lots of tips from the Predators’ development coaches.
His stats, coupled with his developmental coaching, and lackluster performance from some current roster players could mean a roster spot is in Tomasino’s near future.
The Predators have lacked an dynamic offensive player like Tomasino for a long time. He appears to be NHL-ready even as soon as the qualifying round against the Arizona Coyotes in just a couple weeks.
Where Tomasino fits into the actual lineup is hard to say, and one that head coach John Hynes will have to closely evaluate during the current training camp. If he really plays well and plays beyond his years with NHL veterans, then how can you leave him off the playoff roster?
Nothing about this season and playoffs has been ordinary. The Predators have had a rough year but can cap it off with a deep playoff run. After that, some things need to be addressed with the current roster.
Free agency, a flat salary cap, and the team’s average age will all be contributing factors in upcoming roster moves. Predators’ management has started looking to the future by signing some of their prospects for more extended contracts.
A lot is being put into the development of Tomasino and some of the other high-profile prospects. These prospects are the future of the Predators’ organization, and any extra training time with the team is highly beneficial both to the team and the prospects alike.
For Tomasino, his roster spot with the Predators becomes a question not of if, but when. Maybe it’s just in a few short weeks away against Arizona in Game 1 of the qualifying round.