Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Yakov Trenin

Nov 3, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Training camp for the Nashville Predators is quickly approaching, so let’s keep it moving with our next spotlight player, Yakov Trenin.

Trenin is entering an important season for himself at age 26 and seeking his next multi-year contract, hopefully with the Nashville Predators. But to do that, he’s really going to have to have a solid 2023-24 campaign.

Fans really started to take notice of Trenin when he was part of the “Herd Line” alongside Tanner Jeannot and Colton Sissons, and also a brief stint with Mathieu Olivier.

Trenin and Sissons remain on this team, but it’s unclear where Trenin will fit into this new-look Nashville Predators lineup with younger players vying for starting roles, and newcomers from free agency.

2022-23 Season Review for Trenin

Known as the “Yak Attack”, Trenin plays with a fire and energy that every NHL locker room strives for in every player. You just can’t coach that into a player. That player has to already have it in them.

Trenin matched his 2021-22 point total with 24, which honestly isn’t all that bad for a bottom six player. His goal production did drop from 17 to 12, but to be quite frank the entire Predators team was a travesty at generating offense throughout the year, which is why John Hynes is no longer the bench boss in Nashville.

Trenin did maintain his physical style of play with 167 hits, 30 blocks and 44 takeaways. These are subjective stats, especially the takeaways, but it does illustrate that Trenin plays with a rugged style that can cause havoc for opposing players.

Perhaps no bigger impact from Trenin comes through more than when the Predators are on the penalty kill, and he was a key reason why they were tied for fourth in penalty kill success rate in 2022-23.

The last two seasons for Trenin have been mirror images of each other. Now you’re looking for him to kick it up another gear, preferably in his goal production, and secure himself another year or two in Nashville past 2024.

Season Outlook for 2023-24

Coming into training camp, I’ll be looking to see if Trenin maintains his third line role and is kept with the familiar face of Sissons. Those two have chemistry together, but should Trenin be placed with a more offensive oriented center, like Thomas Novak?

Trenin is an unquestioned starter entering 2023-24, and in a more offensive system with Andrew Brunette in charge, you’re really hoping Trenin can hit 20-plus goals, or come close. He has the skills to be a key depth goal scorer for the Predators.

For this to happen, Trenin needs more offensive zone time as well, which may be difficult getting third line minutes. Trenin had just a 37 percent Offensive Zone Start % in 2022-23 with 140 shots on goal.

I can see Trenin’s 2023-24 campaign really going two ways; he benefits greatly from Brunette’s system and blossoms into being a key bottom six goal scorer, or he remains on this plateau and become possible trade bait at the 2024 trade deadline.

Colton Sissons. light. 2023 Preds Training Camp Spotlight

Biggest Strength & Weakness for Trenin

Without question Trenin’s biggest strength to the Nashville Predators is his ability to spark the team in the worst moments of a game. When the team is getting punked physically and Trenin just out of nowhere lights a fire that sparks the bench to wake up.

Trenin is no stranger to dropping the gloves with anyone, no matter the size difference. Just ask Zdeno Chara.

With that said, it’s not just about fighting. It’s about the intensity. It’s about laying a big hit to get puck possession back. And we’ve also seen Trenin use that intensity to get loose for a shot on goal. And subsequently throw his body into the boards after scoring.

As for weakness, he just hasn’t found that next gear yet when it comes to being a consistent goal scorer. That’s his next big step to take in 2023-24. Trenin scored just one goal over the last 18 games of the season.

Now I’m not asking Trenin to suddenly become a prolific goal scorer that rockets him up to top six minutes, but I certainly think he has another level he can take his game up to on offense. I think Trenin would agree if you asked him that.

Let’s see if it happens in 2023-24, and if Trenin looks rejuvenated in training camp. Again, he’s just 26 years-old and still fairly new to his NHL career with 223 career games.