Nashville Predators Must Keep Yakov Trenin and Tanner Jeannot

Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) is congratulated after his first period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in game five of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) is congratulated after his first period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in game five of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

Much has been said about the new identity the Nashville Predators played with in their resurgent second half of the 2020-2021 season.  It all but saved them from finishing as a basement dweller at the end of the year, and they must maintain that style of play if they want to have success next year and moving forward.

In order to do that, they must keep the players who helped forge that identity, and perhaps no two players exhibited that physical, grinding style more than Yakov Trenin and Tanner Jeannot.  Both were vital pieces to the bruising “herd” line, and look like valuable assets for the future.

Nashville Predators can’t lose the “Herd Line”

This past season was officially Trenin’s second in the league, but it was the first one in which he had a stable role on the team.  His five goals and six assists in 45 games played will not blow you away, but his role on the team was important nonetheless.

Trenin was and still is one of the heaviest hitters on the team, and like the others on the herd line, his aggressiveness and determination resulted in several chances and quality possessions.  Despite his physical nature, he managed to refrain from being a liability, registering a reasonable 22 penalty minutes and avoiding major mistakes when he was on the ice.

This goal against the Red Wings also showcased his skill that could come alive in future seasons.

Despite playing in a bottom six capacity, I still believe Trenin has room to become a more prolific producer, and along with his role, he is someone the Predators must prioritize for the future.

Jeannot, on the other hand, came into the lineup as a matter of circumstance, as Mathieu Olivier had gotten injured and Michael McCarron received a suspension shortly after.  One can only imagine if that sequence of events never happened, because nobody expected Jeannot to make the impact he did.

He came into the lineup with confidence, a chip on his shoulder, and was pushing around anyone who came in his way.  Predators fans knew they had something to look forward to when they saw him lay this hit on veteran defenseman John Klingberg.

After making such a strong first impression, he would not disappoint, recording five goals and two assists in 15 games, and also being a net-front force and grinding away everywhere on the ice.  This goal against the Hurricanes showed just how hard he works at all times to get the job done.

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Jeannot only played a few games, but his grit and tenacity were enough to win me over, and it showed in the results as well.  With how well he did considering his age and lack of experience, there is nothing but promise for him in the coming years.

How they could be lost in the offseason

Myself and the vast majority of Predators fans have loved what Trenin and Jeannot have brought to the table, and the organization agrees, as they were regularly played at the end of the regular season and playoffs.  Despite their contributions, the team may not have both of them when next season starts.

The Seattle Expansion Draft is coming up early in the offseason, and while Jeannot is exempt from selection, Trenin is not, and the Predators seem unlikely to protect him.  He may be available for the Kraken to take, but that does not mean that David Poile cannot do what he can to ensure that he can keep him.

The Predators have other players and assets they can part with in order to entice the Kraken to go in a different direction than taking Trenin.  I wouldn’t be sad to see the team give up Calle Jarnkrok or Viktor Arvidsson in a “trade” if it’s the only way they can keep their two critical fourth line bruisers.

They also have all of their draft picks through 2023 except for two seventh rounders, and they have an additional fourth rounder this year.  Most teams would be willing to sacrifice one or two mid-round picks in order to hang onto one of their valuable young players, and Poile could afford to give the Kraken one of his draft picks in order to keep Trenin.

More. Best Case Scenarios from Expansion Draft for Predators. light

And on that topic, Poile absolutely must not give up Jeannot in one of those “trades.”  That is the only way I foresee him being lost, but not something to completely rule out happening.

Trenin and Jeannot were fourth line players, but were crucial in helping to mold the Predators into the team they became at the end of the most recent season.  They are also critical pieces for the youth movement, and losing either one of them could sting more than you might think.

Not that losing one of them would break the team, but their presence, or lack thereof, would be felt if they left.  Hopefully Poile has a plan in order to make sure they are not lost for nothing.