Nashville Predators: Protecting Tanner Jeannot Was the Right Call

Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot (84) celebrates after a goal during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot (84) celebrates after a goal during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Nashville Predators raised some eyebrows when they revealed their expansion draft protection list just a few days before the Seattle Kraken actually reveal their selections.

It has nothing to do with the fact that the Nashville Predators protected five defensemen, rather it pertains to the three forwards they protected.

Filip Forsberg and Luke Kunin were no-brainers, but the decision by General Manager David Poile to protect Tanner Jeannot has some of the Smashville faithful scratching their heads.

In their minds, which very well might be the majority of Predators fans, why expose a good player like Calle Jarnkrok in favor of someone who only has 15 games of NHL experience under his belt?

Although it may not seem like it, losing Jeannot for nothing would have hurt the Predators worse than it would if they lose Jarnkrok or another player such as Colton Sissons.

Nashville Predators cannot lose youth and tenacity

I wrote an article not long ago explaining why Jeannot and Yakov Trenin are so vital to the Predators’ success moving forward.  I must note that I mistakenly mentioned that Jeannot was exempt from the expansion draft, but my arguments in that piece are still relevant now.

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We have been clearly able to see that the Predators are aiming to become a younger team, and Jeannot is exactly one of those guys who has a chance to make a tremendous impact in the future.

Even though Jeannot only played 15 games in the regular season, he was the best player on the “Herd” line, which should continue to be the backbone of the team’s offense moving forward.

As much as Jarnkrok is rightfully beloved by the Predators’ fanbase, a middle six forward on a cheap contract is not a commodity that is very difficult to come by.  But when it comes to finding someone with extreme grit, fortitude, and the ability to instantly make an impact on the scoresheet, that is a whole different story.

Jeannot came into the NHL undrafted, and there is a reason why guys like him are so successful when they play with that chip on their shoulder.  The Predators have an absolute gem in him, and knowing that his best is likely yet to come, they would have massively regretted losing him for nothing.

Losing Jarnkrok will sting, but don’t overreact

I have been on record saying that I would absolutely hate if the Predators lose Jarnkrok for nothing, and I hate that this is the most probable scenario.  But at the same time, this is far from the worst case scenario.

At the end of the day, Jarnkrok is 29-years old and only has one more year on his contract.  It is tough to imagine that Poile was ever committed to keeping him as part of the future core.

More importantly, as much as some Predators fans may not want to hear this, let’s not sit here and act as if they are the only team in this situation.

Look at the list of quality players that the Seattle Kraken have to choose from, which includes Vladimir Tarasenko.  How badly must probably (definitely) losing him for nothing hurt the St. Louis Blues organization, although it looks like Seattle may not take him anyway:

Related Story. How the Nashville Predators Handled the 2017 Expansion Draft. light

If it is Jarnkrok that is selected by the Kraken, it will be a disappointment, but looking at what several other teams are having to deal with, the Predators will be fine.  They would have been in a far worse situation if Jeannot was the one who was going to be taken.