NHL Draft 2023: Nashville Predators Top-5 Draft Board and Strategy

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 30: Gabe Perreault of United States in action during final of U18 Ice Hockey World Championship match between United States and Sweden at St. Jakob-Park at St. Jakob-Park on April 30, 2023 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 30: Gabe Perreault of United States in action during final of U18 Ice Hockey World Championship match between United States and Sweden at St. Jakob-Park at St. Jakob-Park on April 30, 2023 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Brayden Yager
(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images) /

#3: Brayden Yager, Center, WHL

Time for the Nashville Predators to start thinking about reloading the center position in the prospect pool. They’ve called up a lot of them recently to the NHL level, so this would be a positional pick for a couple years down the road.

Brayden Yager is projected to go anywhere around No.15, so there’s a decent chance he’ll still be on the board when the Predators pick.

According to The Hockey Writers, Yager might not be your prototypical centerman. He looks to score goals first and foremost and might end up being a winger on the NHL level. Much like Philip Tomasino has yet to become a fulltime center and has played more wing in his early days in the NHL.

Yager has shown in the WHL for the Moosejaw Warriors that he has the pure knack to score goals. Where do I sign as a Nashville Predators fan?

Kyle Pereira of Last Word on Sports does have some concerns that could have Yager slip out of the top-10 and into the drafting hands of the Nashville Predators:

"“When he builds up speed and really takes off, few players can truly keep up. However, those moments do not come very often. Yager does not have the best edge work, which impacts his ability to build up speed.”"

When you’re picking mid first round like the Predators are, unless they trade up, then you have to make some concessions with your picks. Yager’s strengths still outweigh his weaknesses, and I think he’d be an excellent value pick for the Predators if he falls that far.