We cannot easily predict who the Nashville Predators will take at that spot, but what we do know is that they are probably not getting anyone who is franchise altering.
With first round exits piling up for the Predators in recent years, they need to find players who will get them over the hump quickly, which is why trading up in the draft should be entertained among the front office.
If General Manager David Poile is so bold, maybe he will consider trading up into the top-four in the draft to get one of those franchise altering players.
But there is another option, and that is doing the opposite of trading up in the first round and trading that pick for a star forward already in the NHL.
Nashville Predators current direction makes trading first round pick sensible
Considering the current state of the Nashville Predators roster, and the nature of prospects especially within the Predators, this might be the best course of action.
One thing that is for sure with whoever is available to the Predators at pick 17, that player will not see NHL action for at least a few years. Even then, he will go through the development phase that pretty much all young NHLers do, which usually lasts at least a year or two.
Add onto that the fact that the Predators have not exactly been the best when it comes to developing forwards, and if they opt to draft one, it could very realistically be five or six years before he is an impactful player.
The offseason actions of the Predators have shown that they are not prioritizing the team in a half-decade, but rather focusing on the immediate future of 2022-23.
If this is indeed the case, why not be aggressive and go for one of those top line forwards who is impactful now and will be for many years to come? There are plenty of options out there, and considering what the Los Angeles Kings had to give up to acquire Kevin Fiala, it might not take much more than that first round pick to get a team to agree to a trade.
There is a way this can be done so that the Predators can trade for a quality top six player and not give up someone like Eeli Tolvanen, Cody Glass, or Philip Tomasino. They can make a big splash without truly compromising their future, and if they are only giving up this year’s first round pick and maybe another pick in the top three rounds, it’s worth it.
Poile made it known back in May that he was intending to spend to the cap as reasonably as possible this offseason, and with the most recent trade for Ryan McDonagh, he has been true to his word so far. Not hardly giving up anything in that trade is yet another reason why Poile can afford to be bold and dangle the 17th overall pick.
The Predators are at a crossroads with their organization, and if they are going to make moves to push for a Stanley Cup now instead of five years down the road, then that is not going to happen without some sacrifices somewhere.
If parting with a high end draft pick can help the team land a player who can put them over the top immediately, Poile should not hesitate to pull that trigger. However, trading first round picks is a risky business and it would take the perfect trade partner to make this happen.
Draft picks are almost never instant fixes, but making an affective offseason trade on draft night can set the table for a successful run in 2022-23.
The question is, are the Nashville Predators truly in “win now” mode and “all in” for next season? A huge draft day trade like this would signal to everyone that they are.