Olivier struggled to find NHL ice time last season, appearing in just 10 games for the Nashville Predators after playing in 30 of 56 regular season games the season before.
When the Predators found their “Herd Line” of Colton Sissons, Tanner Jeannot and Yakov Trenin, it made it difficult to find roster space for Olivier.
The trade comes with the Columbus Blue Jackets who will acquire the rights to Olivier, and in return the Predators will get Toronto’s original 2022 fourth-round pick.
A sensible trade for the Nashville Predators
As much as I appreciate Olivier’s style of play and the physical edge he brought to the Predators in limited action, this modest trade makes a lot of sense. The Predators needed to add more draft picks in 2022 as they were coming in with just six picks.
The Predators now have two picks in the third round and two picks in the fourth round, but no current picks in the second round.
You can find plenty of promising and talented prosects in the fourth round, and the Predators have made what looks like some really wise selections recently that include Ryan Ufko, Adam Wilsby, Semyon Chystyakov and even Viktor Arvidsson way back in 2014.
I still think the Predators should explore trading up in the first round from the 17th-overall pick, and maybe they’ll use one of these four picks in round three and four as part of a trade package to move up a few spots.
As for Olivier, at just 25-years-old he should still have more opportunities to stick around on an NHL roster consistently. The Blue Jackets looks like a good landing spot for him to push for a starting role on that team in 2022-23, so on it’s surface it looks like a beneficial trade for both sides.
Olivier didn’t provide much offense in his 48 career games with the Predators, putting up just seven points. However, his value was purely in being a hard hitter, an imposing fighter and posting physical minutes as a depth player. I feel pretty strongly that’s his ceiling in the NHL, and the Predators need more speed and to continue to build their prospect pool with those types of players.
The Nashville Predators figure to have a pretty busy and hectic offseason as they still look to re-sign Filip Forsberg, raising more criticism for the front office. This offseason can end up going a multitude of different directions in the next couple of weeks.
More so, the team has a plethora of cap space to be a big shopper for one of the NHL’s notable free agents which starts on July 13.
This trade of Olivier might be a small glimpse into the team looking to shift more into a fast offensive team over stockpiling players who play with gritty nature, but don’t bring much offensive value.