Welcome to The Puck Drop, a weekly roundup of all things Nashville Predators. We look at news stories, social media posts, and everything else regarding YOUR NASHVILLE PREDATORS.
As Summer winds down, we are getting ever so close to a brand new NHL season. Nashville’s first exhibition game is 15 days away, while the first puck drop of the regular season against the Seattle Kraken is 33 days away, or “David Rittich days away,” as we like to say.
Anticipation for the 2021-22 season is building. Our first look at this Predators team will come in a few short days when training camp begins. Nashville’s rookies and prospects will report to rookie camp on Thursday, September 16.
Several young players such as Philip Tomasino, Rem Pitlick, and David Farrance will get their chance to impress the coaching staff and put their best foot forward to try to make the NHL roster.
With so many different options at each position and with the possibility of prospect players making an impact in camp, the coaching staff will have the tough task of crafting their offensive and defensive lines. At this point, it is anyone’s guess as to which players will be playing together once the season starts.
So have faith, everyone. Nashville Predators hockey is upon us. With a full 82 game schedule and the return of regular NHL divisions, we are all set for a great season ahead.
John Hynes Named Assistant Coach For Team USA
Last Friday, the Predators announced that Head Coach John Hynes had been selected as an assistant coach for Team USA as they represent the United States in the 2022 Winter Olympic games.
Hynes will be joining Head Coach Mike Sullivan and fellow assistants Todd Reirden, David Quinn, and Ryan Miller in Beijing as NHL players will once again be allowed to represent their countries in the Olympics.
Hynes’ selection comes on the heels of the Predators epic, albeit improbable, run to the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. He took a team with little chance of making the playoffs and turned them into a competitive roster.
Congratulations, Coach Hynes, on being selected for this great honor.
Head Coach John Hynes will serve as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics. https://t.co/Z036GiV2iS
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) September 3, 2021
Tolvanen Signs New Contract
On August 30, the Predators announced that they had signed forward Eeli Tolvanen to a new three-year contract worth $4.35M.
Tolvanen created quite a buzz last season when he finally made his way to the Predators’ roster. In addition, Tolvanen set himself up for future success when he became a valuable asset on the power-play unit.
An injury slowed Tolvanen’s progression last season, and he didn’t quite return to form after being cleared to play. However, expectations for him to have a banner season are very high.
Congratulations on the new contract, Eeli. We all look forward to seeing you on the ice this season.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) August 30, 2021
NHL Network Loves Juice
The NHL Network recently listed their picks for the breakout players of the 2020-21 season. It is no surprise that Predators goaltender Juuse Saros made that list.
Although he got off to a rocky start last season, as did the whole team, Saros came into his own and solidified his spot as the number one goaltender in Nashville. Had Saros not played the way he did last season, the Predators would have had no chance of making the playoffs.
However, for this upcoming season, expectations are really high for Saros now that he has inked a new four-year, $20M contract. Therefore, it will be imperative for Saros to start the season strong and continue building on his momentum from last season.
If he can continue to improve and show that he is, in fact, the Predators’ franchise goaltender, there is no doubt that Saros will once again find himself in the Vezina Trophy conversation at next season’s end.
“The guy doesn’t quit on a play.”
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 25, 2021
#Preds Night At Nashville SC Game
Last Friday, four Predators players got to take in the sights, sounds, and everything else that a Nashville SC soccer game has to offer.
Philip Tomasino, Cody Glass, Connor Ingram, and Devin Cooley were in attendance as Nashville SC took on New York City FC.
The Predators must have brought some good luck to Nissan Stadium for this matchup. Nashville SC easily won the game 3 to 1.
A portion of all of the ticket sales from the September 3 match benefited the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) September 4, 2021
Got a few Golden friends in the house tonight.
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) September 3, 2021