Nashville Predators: Realistic Free Agent Defensemen to Watch

Juuse Saros #74 of the Nashville Predators is congratulated by Ryan Ellis #4 after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime at Nationwide Arena on May 3, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Juuse Saros #74 of the Nashville Predators is congratulated by Ryan Ellis #4 after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime at Nationwide Arena on May 3, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Nashville Predators
) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Final Analysis

I left off all of the high-priced defensemen in this exercise because I don’t think the Predators are in the market for those types of players. It would be way too risky to be chasing long-term contract with aging defensemen.

With that said, it’s not unfathomable to think the Predators are going to be in a position to add more depth at this position. I don’t expect Gudbranson or Sbisa back, and the expansion draft could end up plucking another defensemen away from Nashville, depending on what their protection list looks like.

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Matt Benning and Mark Borowiecki, two defensemen who were offseason additions for the Predators last summer, will most likely return unless an unforeseen trade comes up. So this really comes down to if the Predators front office is happy with they currently have returning.

I’m also not sold on Ben Harpur as a long-term answer on the third pairing, so there’s still a lot to figure out at the bottom end of the defensive corps. Maybe a prospect is the answer, or maybe it’s a fairly priced, low-risk free agent.

In the end, the Predators should be more aggressive with getting their young prospects a stronger look in the starting lineup to open 2021-22. I’ve got players like Jeremey Davies and Frederic Allard at the top of that list.