2001 Draft: Strengthening the Defense
The early years of the Predators had a hard time scoring goals. To win, they usually needed near-perfect performances by their goaltender and some lucky bounces to go their way.
But a shift started to happen where the Predators were stronger defensively and grinded out wins. The 2001 Entry Draft came as the Predators finished with 80 points in the season before, which was actually a big accomplishment for them.
This draft was important to keep the momentum trending in a positive direction, and they connected on their 12th-overall pick with Dan Hamhuis. This guy ended up being a huge part of the defensive foundation.
Hamhuis impressively played in 78 games or more in all six seasons of his first stint in Nashville. He was the quiet, but strong leader that Roman Josi is, only without the offensive flare.
After the Hamhuis pick, the Predators had more duds. They did take Jordin Tootoo in the fourth round, which turned into being a massive fan-favorite and a huge part of the organization.
I’m not going to fault the Predators too much for this draft, because overall this was not a strong draft class for the entire league. A lot of busts.
2001 Draft Grade: C+