Nashville Predators: The Top-10 Franchise Players Over Last Decade

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) against the San Jose Sharks in game four of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) against the San Jose Sharks in game four of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
7 of 11
Next
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

#5: Juuse Saros

Yes, I already have the young Saros at No.5 on best players for the Nashville Predators over the last decade. Without him picking up where Pekka Rinne left off, then this team would be in full rebuild mode.

Insteady, the Predators know they have a franchise goaltender that’s in that top tier of NHL goalies, and so that allows them to build a team around him.

Time really does fly by when you think that Saros has already been in the NHL for six years, and he’s entering those prime years at age 27. It’s hard to fathom Saros not eventually winning a Vezina Trophy just like his predecessor.

Saros is already third all-time on the Predators franchise list in wins, saves and shutous. He has a good chance of passing Tomas Vokoun this season in shutouts if he gets four, and will eventually only trail Rinne in all of the major categories.

The Predators are a very forunate franchise to go from Rinne to Saros. There are many teams who have been floundering for years to find a reliable starting goaltender. It hampers your team greatly, and luckily the Predators have never had that problem since Rinne first came in the league, and now Saros.

It’s still unknown what the long-term future for Saros holds in Nashville. He has three seasons left on his current team-friendly deal, and if everything goes smoothly, he’ll be up for a big raise when this contrat is up. That will be right when Yaroslav Askarov is ready to make the full-time NHL jump and possibly be a starting caliber franchise goalie in his own right.

The Predators will have a huge decision to make when that time comes, but until then, let’s enjoy “Juice” and all of his greatness he brings. He’s a goaltender with the caliber to carry a team to a Stanley Cup.