In the midst of an unprecedented offseason, the Nashville Predators have been busy getting their younger players plenty of development on the national stage.
With no official start date announced yet for the 2021 season, the Nashville Predators have been loaning highly-touted prospects to other teams around the world.
The NHL world might be on pause yet again, but there’s still a lot of hockey going on internationally.
Philip Tomasino, former 2019 draft pick at 24th overall by the Predators, is the latest prospect to get loaned this offseason. His next action on the ice will come at a selection camp for Team Canada and the 2021 World Junior Championship, per the Predators official team website.
Important development opportunity
One thing you really don’t want as a general manager right now during this crazy time is for your rising stars in the prospect pool to be sitting on the shelf for too long. They need to keep on getting that critical development.
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This is especially true for a team like the Predators who are going to be relying heavily on younger players in the coming years to keep this team relevant in the Western Conference.
Tomasino is widely considered the top prospect in the Nashville Predators organization. The prospect pool has a lot of promise, with Tomasino certainly leading the way.
I’ll be slightly surprised if Tomasino doesn’t get selected for the final Team Canada roster to compete in this major international tournament.
As you would expect, there are other big-time prospects coming to this camp, per Pro Hockey Rumors.
Other big names include Kirby Dach of the Chicago Blackhawks and 2020 No.2 overall pick Quinton Byfield of the LA Kings.
There’s plenty of confidence that the 19-year-old Tomasino will even find his way onto the Predators starting roster at some point in 2021, although the signings of a few veteran free agents lowered the likelihood of that possibility in my opinion.
However, if things start going sour quickly for the Predators then they’ll definitely have their hand forced to make call ups from their prospect pool, and Tomasino has to be at the front of the line.
Tomasino has represented Canada in past appearances at the 2019 U-18 World Championship and in 2017 at the U-17 Hockey World Challenge.
A rising star for the Predators organization
Most notably, Tomasino has done some serious work in the OHL and has taken that league by storm. He’s a dynamic offensive playmaker that should be able to seamlessly translate his style of play to the NHL level in the near future.
Tomasino astoundingly posted triple digits in points last season with 100 ( 40 goals, 60 assists) making him easily a top-20 prospect in the entire NHL right now.
The more game action the better for Tomasino at this point in his young career. We’ll keep you updated on how he fairs for Team Canada this time around, which is slated to start December 26 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
If the NHL can indeed get the season started no later than February 1, then training camp will be opening quickly after the World Junior Championship concludes.
Other prospects such as Eeli Tolvanen ( 8 points in 15 games) have also been getting playing time internationally in the KHL for Jokerit, and 2020 first-round pick Yaroslav Askarov ( .963 save percentage, 0.94 GAA) for SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL.
As for Tomasino, I fully expect him to be in Predators training camp and compete heavily for a roster spot. He may not get it initially on opening night, but he’ll be first in line if things go awry.