The Nashville Predators have officially concluded their preseason, and there were a few names that I’m sure surprised many of you that made the roster. One key player that surprised me was Kiefer Sherwood, but after watching him compete vs SC Bern in the NHL Global Series Challenge, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.
Sherwood was slotted on the second line with Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter for most of the game, and he gave us many reasons to believe he deserves that role with the Preds. Let’s take a look at what stood out about him, and what we can expect from him this season.
Sherwood a Surprise, but Adds Speed to Nashville Predators Second Line
If there was one thing that stood out to me, it’s that Philip Tomasino, who I would’ve expected to be on the second line, was replaced with Kiefer Sherwood. Now I’m not going to start speculating over what’s going on with Tomasino, I’m sure we’ll have some info soon, but Sherwood made the most of the opportunity.
Sherwood was signed as a free agent during the offseason after being let go by the Colorado Avalanche. The Nashville Predators made this move rather quietly, but it may have a bigger payoff than any of us realized at first glance.
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Most notably, I saw Sherwood bring a bit of speed to the second line, and with Niederreiter and Johansen with him, that line could be a little scary for teams to face. With Sherwood and Niederreiter driving the speed, along with Johansen’s “pass first” mentality and prior chemistry with Niederreiter, this line could be a bit of a force for the Preds.
Most of what we saw from Sherwood wasn’t what you’d find on the scoresheet, but rather how he plays the game stuck out. Sherwood seemed quite comfortable out there with his linemates, and while he may not have posted much on the scoresheet, he showed glimpses of what he could do.
Kiefer Sherwood: Will He be a Starter Opening Night?
Sherwood made the most of the opportunity, and the Preds seemed to have made a right move in not only signing him but taking him to Europe along with the rest of the roster. Now, will he see him opening night, or will someone else take his place?
Like I said, I expected Philip Tomasino to be on that line, but with this showing there might be a little competition here as to who will fill the role. Sherwood slotted in quite nicely, and fits well on the second line. However, part of me still wants Tomasino on that line to continue to grow his game.
Either way, Sherwood may have been a small surprise, but I think he has a real shot at being a starter on opening night. As Head Coach John Hynes would say, he played the game the right way on Monday, and if he continues to play like he did, we could be in for a surprise treat with Kiefer Sherwood.