The 2022-23 NHL regular season begins on Oct. 7 for the Nashville Predators. Who will lead this team in scoring by the time April rolls around?
After adding a few new faces to the Nashville Predators organization, this team looks relatively similar on the offensive side.
General Manager David Poile added Nino Niederreiter for more offense, or if you want to get technical, 24 more goals to his roster.
As far as who will explode scoring this season, it’s up in the air. The biggest question for Head coach John Hynes is the second line and who can step up and score more to boost that line.
According to Money Puck, former Predator Luke Kunin, Ryan Johansen, and Eeli Tolvanen spent the most time on the second line. Kunin’s (13) and Tolvanen’s (11) goals had the longest spurts of scoring droughts, and with a higher rate of scoring, the Nashville Predators could have been a better team in the top-six part of their lineup.
Hynes said after the third preseason game that he’s still trying to figure out the second winger on the line with Johansen and Niederreiter.
NHL.com posted their Fantasy Hockey projections for 2022-23 on Sept. 28. At the top is Filip Forsberg who is predicted to score 80 points. He scored 84 last season, while Matt Duchene posted a career-best 86.
Prediction for Nashville Predators 2022-23 Leader in Goals: Matt Duchene
Last season Duchene had a prove-it year after coming to Nashville on a seven-year deal in 2019. He only scored 19 goals in his first 100 games with the Nashville Predators.
Don’t expect Duchene to fall far from what he put up last season.
Two more goals seem feasible for the winger as he continues to be a stalwart on offense. According to Natural Stat Trick, Duchene was fourth on the team in first assists (24).
Duchene will certainly be an aggressive playmaker on the top line alongside Forsberg and Mikael Granlund.
Neither of Duchene’s linemates will slow down anytime soon after spending 495 minutes together last season. Granlund had a career-best 53 assists, and his keen eye for Duchene and Forsberg will be great for chemistry.
Forsberg will be right behind Duchene and barring any injury could put up better numbers than his linemate. After Forsberg’s first three full seasons, he’s never played more than 70 games.
Reasonably Forsberg will get to 40 goals, or maybe a few more. His highest scoring chances came when he either drove the net or shot a wrister from the offensive circles.
Right behind Forsberg, the bold prediction is Tanner Jeannot finishing third in goal scoring.
Jeannot could score 30 goals this season. His linemates Colton Sissons and Yakov Trenin spent the most time paired together as a unit last season (635 minutes).
The herd line has a tremendous upside being physical and putting the puck in the back of the net.
Who else would you have on your list or is it any different than what’s listed?