Some newcomers and younger players will have to take charge for the Nashville Predators in 2021. Yakov Trenin will be a big one to focus on.
It’s time to turn the page on the disastrous and wild season the Nashville Predators had. They fell short for a third-straight season, and now they’re in dire need of a few players to have breakout seasons next year.
For the Predators, no one sticks out more as a player that has the ability to do that than Yakov Trenin. A player who I believe still hasn’t hit his ceiling in the NHL.
The Predators have decided to lend Trenin to the KHL until training camp gets underway for the new season, as reported by the Predators PR social media page:
— Nashville Preds PR (@PredsPR) September 28, 2020
Some encouraging news for the offseason
This is a positive development for both the Predators and Trenin. He’s going to get some valuable playing time and experience playing in the KHL, and should come back ready to go for the Predators’ training camp.
Trenin has just 21 games of NHL experience, so any development he can get regardless of the league is a good thing. And the KHL is a high quality league that will be valuable to him.
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The tricky part about all of this is the unknown factor regarding next season for the NHL. There’s no official timeline past the free agency period and the draft, which are coming up in October.
Trenin figures to be a big part of the Predators’ depth next season. I fully expect him to take a big leap forward in both offensive and defensive production. He should also get a full slate of games assuming he avoids injury.
The Predators are going to look vastly different next season aside from their core players at the top of the roster. New role players are going to have to step up to keep the Predators from becoming a contender for last place in the division.
Trenin’s ceiling is very high, and so is his value at age 23. He’s showing enormous promise to become a top-six player, and the Predators made the wise decision by re-signing him recently.
Trenin could play alongside Duchene
Don’t be surprised to see Trenin get a crack at playing on the second line on opening night with the likes of Matt Duchene. Those two could end up being a great pair, and really maximize Trenin’s potential.
If all thing go smoothly with Trenin’s time in the KHL and once he returns for Predators training camp, then a 30 to 40-point season isn’t out of the realm of possibility. He just needs a team to fully invest in him and give him the ice time.
As the Predators sit right now, I see them as a fringe wildcard team for next season. So many question marks and so much inexperience will likely be asked to play bigger roles, including Trenin.
If Trenin has the breakout year I expect him to have, that will take some of the burden off the top line and also hopefully offset the loss in production that the Predators are probably going to lose with the departures of Craig Smith and/or Mikael Granlund.
I love the idea of Trenin replacing Granlund in the lineup while figuring out a way to retain Smith. That will require some creativity and luck as Smith is testing free agency.
Either way, Trenin’s role with the Predators is about to really blossom, and I’m confident he’ll become a very important piece to this lineup in 2021. This team badly needs some young players to step up in a big way to hold off a rebuild.