This might come as somewhat of a surprise pick considering Matt Duchene is already an accomplished player in the NHL. But the Predators need way more from him going into next season.
Duchene is an outstanding puck handler. That’s his best trait he brings to the table, and now that has to translate to more scoring opportunities to whichever teammates line up with him, presumably once again on the second line.
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The goals obviously have to dramatically go up for Duchene in 2021 as the Predators will try to make another trip to the playoffs. He had just 13 goals despite playing mostly on the second line alongside some solid offensive weapons.
You can blame coaching strategy and just bad luck on some of Duchene’s misfortunes, but in his second year with the Predators he’s going to need to up his production to near some of his best offensive career totals.
With an offseason to get refreshed and get more settled in will be good for Duchene. I love his response to adversity following heavy criticism in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Now we need the Duchene that can string it together for a full season.
Asking for 20-plus goals and 30 to 40 assists isn’t a reach for Duchene. A 60-point season is very attainable considering he just put up 70 points right before he joined Nashville.