Nashville Predators: Five Players With Most to Prove in Upcoming Season

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 04: Eeli Tolvanen #28 of the Nashville Predators is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on December 04, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 04: Eeli Tolvanen #28 of the Nashville Predators is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on December 04, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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Is it now or never for Tolvanen?

Patience has been key ever since Eeli Tolvanen was drafted in 2017, and considered at the time a major steal for the Nashville Predators. He still has time to make that thought a reality.

Tolvanen just couldn’t find the back of the net last season. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t shooting as he had 151 shots on goal, good for fourth on the team and only trailing your “Big Three” of Josi, Forsberg and Duchene.

Despite the high shot total, Tolvanen’s shooting percentage was down at 7.3 percent. Extremely low for a player that’s touted as having a lethally accurate shot. We need his luck to turn around, while he also needs to make his own luck at times by skating more effectively without the puck.

Another thing that’s hurt Tolvanen is he’s been moved up and down the lineup. It’s important that Tolvanen gets regular linemates so he can build that chemistry that’s vital for an offensive player like him.

Even though his ice time might suffer a bit, I’m open and intrigued to seeing Cody Glass center a line with Tolvanen. Those two can have success together, and Glass in particular can have a strong impact on finding Tolvanen in scoring areas.

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The combination of Glass and Tolvanen could also be a remedy for one of your power play units.

If Tolvanen follows up last season with another lackluster offensive showing, then he’ll become another expendable player that might be offered in a trade.

Tolvanen has just one more year remaining after this year on his current contract that carries a $1.45 million AAV. Should be a very easy contract to move if needed, but obviously the hope is Tolvanen’s offense ignites as the would be hugely beneficial to the Predators’ depth scoring woes.