Nashville Predators: Rem Pitlick Leads List of Players Heading to Waivers

Nashville Predators center Rem Pitlick (16) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Rem Pitlick (16) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

It comes down to a numbers game, and for the Nashville Predators, they have somewhat of a roster logjam at forward as they trim down their roster for the regular season.

Rem Pitlick highlights the list of five players heading to waivers, with the hope that they clear waivers and can be assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals. However, other teams do have the ability to claim them.

It’s a good problem to have, but one that’s also tough on a front office as you really don’t want to lose up-and-coming players for nothing. At the end of the day, you only have so much room on the NHL roster.

Most of the time these younger prospects do go unclaimed so that they can return to the prospect pool and continue their development. It’s got to be a difficult process however for general managers to leave coveted prospects available to be claimed.

Nashville Predators have a logjam at forward

When it comes to Pitlick, this one probably comes as a surprise to many, including myself. He’s been on the short list of prospects ready to make the full-time NHL jump in recent memory, but coaches and the front office apparently see him as the odd man out.

However, there’s still a rather good chance that Pitlick, and the others go unclaimed. Frederic Allard, Matt Tennyson, Matt Luff and Cole Smith joins Pitlick on the trip to the waiver wire. In all, 22 players across the NHL went to waivers today:

Pitlick has had a fairly strong preseason showing through two games of action for him. He notched a power play goal against the Florida Panthers, and also tallied an assist on Egor Afanasyev’s goal in the 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last week.

Losing Pitlick would be unfortunate for the Predators prospect pool that has really gained steam over the past couple of seasons. A big reason why is they have a lot of young offensive talent rising up the ranks, including Pitlick.

Pitlick brings that blend of speed and shooting ability that is really enticing for a Predators team that is going through somewhat of a mini rebuild, while also entering a season where they could end up losing even more of the core, most notably Filip Forsberg.

This also speaks to the rise of both Afanasyev and Philip Tomasino through the prospect ranks. Both have had outstanding offseasons and are pushing for an opening night roster spot on the NHL level.

Then there’s also Rocco Grimaldi in the mix, as well as Cody Glass who came over via the Ryan Ellis trade. All of this factors into having to make the tough call to send Pitlick to waivers, and hoping he doesn’t get claimed.

Others that are heading to waivers

Allard has been considered one of the top defensive prospects in the system for a while now. He was drafted in the third round of the 2016 Entry Draft, but just hasn’t been able to make that challenging transition from regular time on the AHL level to the NHL.

It would also be a tough loss to see Smith claimed. He has yet to register a game for the Admirals, but did see 23 games of AHL action last season with the Chicago Wolves, putting up five goals and five assists. He’s also had a pretty strong offseason in rookie camp.

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The other three players I would expect to clear waivers and return to the Predators’ system, however, all it takes is one scout on another team really liking a certain player and making that claim.

The season-opener is less than two weeks away against the Seattle Kraken, with still a lot up in the air on how the starting lineup will shape up. Two more preseason games should settle some of that debate.