It has been a season full of growth and development for the youth of the Nashville Predators, and they’ll see another young and talented prospect make their NHL debut as Luke Evangelista has been called up from AHL Milwaukee.
Evangelista was drafted in the second round of 2020 and instantly you couldn’t wait to see this guy make his ascension to the NHL. He is a dynamic offensive winger and the type of player that has always eluded the Nashville Predators.
Evangelista Making his NHL Debut Sooner than Expected for Preds
This NHL debut comes a little earlier than expected for Evangelista. The trajectory to the NHL looked more likely in 2023-24, but the Predators have gone through a combination of injuries to the forwards and also have traded Nino Niederreiter and Tanner Jeannot in the past week.
With all of this change, newcomers are getting a chance to step up and make a name for themselves in the NHL. Cody Glass, Tommy Novak, Juuso Parssinen and Philip Tomasino have all had their flashes and have become important pieces to the Nashville Predators remaining in the playoff hunt.
Evangelista will now join that young core, at least for a brief stint. It’s still very unclear how much more time Filip Forsberg will miss.
In his first season in the AHL, Evangelista leads the Milwaukee Admirals in points with 41 in 49 games. He has 11 of his 41 points on the power play and 98 shots on goal.
Evangelista was an offensive powerhouse for the London Knights of the OHL in 2021-22, putting up astounding point totals with 111 in 62 games. Just insane production.
All eyes are going to be on how quickly Evangelista gets adjusted to the NHL speed and physicality as the Nashville Predators will be up against the Pittsburgh Penguins in pursuit of their fourth-straight win.
Check out this goal from Evangelista as he crowds the net and gets one of those greasy goals that the Nashville Predators pride themselves on:
This is going to be fun to watch as the Predators trail the Seattle Kraken by six points for the Western Conference’s final wildcard spot. They’ve got two games in hand on Seattle, and don’t look now but the Winnipeg Jets have also fallen into the other wildcard spot and the Predators have three games in hand over them.
After becoming sellers and the trade deadline later this week, the Nashville Predators are sending a clear message that change is needed. David Poile made a shocking announcement of his retirement as Nashville Predators General Manager, and Barry Trotz immediately taking over, although Poile will remain in a consulting role.
This all has the fanbase re-energized and I expect a loud Bridgestone Arena to welcome in a Penguins team that is also battling for the playoff lives in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s temper our expectations for Evangelista. This transition isn’t easy and he’s being called up way sooner than anticipated. He just needs to play free and loose and take it all in.