Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Filip Forsberg Returns

Jan 12, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators have made a ton of changes since the 2023 trade deadline and the team, especially the forwards, look drastically different from even a year ago. For all of the guys who have been jettisoned since then, Filip Forsberg was not and will not be one of them anytime soon.

Forsberg is set to begin the second of an eight-year contract, and will be leaned on heavily since he is an established veteran on a team full of youngsters and new faces. He is getting up there in age at 29, but is still highly skilled and it is very possible that he has yet to truly peak.

Looking to be the veteran leader at Nashville Predators training camp, let’s look at how things are shaping up for Forsberg in 2023-24.

2022-23 Season Review for Filip Forsberg

Forsberg failed to reach the heights of his 2021-22 breakout season in 2022-23. In fact, he only got half his point totals from the career year, with19 goals and 23 assists, which sounds bad on the surface.

But when you look at the circumstances of the prior season, you can understand why it unfolded as such.

Number one, everyone who was offensively prolific in 2021-22 and then dropped off last season. Regression from career years certainly was expected to some degree, but everyone would agree that John Hynes’ system was not conducive to effective offense.

You could clearly see that with how Eeli Tolvanen took off when entering the Seattle Kraken lineup, while in Nashville he was regressing by the day.

But in Forsberg’s case, the biggest reason for his decline last year was a concussion he suffered in early February. It was so severe that he did not return for the rest of the season, and those who watched it in real time knew it was bad.

Since Forsberg’s official rookie season, the 50 games he played last year were the lowest he has ever played in a season, not counting the COVID-shortened 2020-21 year. It was an unfortunate situation for Forsberg, and he will certainly be motivated to rebound in the coming year.

Season Outlook for 2023-24

There are a ton of questions on what the forward lines will look like come October, but Forsberg is exempt from that. Without a single doubt, he will be on the top line with Ryan O’Reilly, and that should be a very fun combination to watch.

O’Reilly will do the dirty work behind and right in front of the net, which will allow Forsberg to focus on passing and sniping the puck, which he does best. Even though he is 29 years old, he definitely still has some juice in the tank.

Forsberg has not shown any real signs of slowing down, and his game is not one that is predicated on qualities that decline with age. While he plays a physical game, it does not make or break his effectiveness, and for his offensive talent, he is not someone who relies on burning others with his speed.

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Forsberg’s best attributes are pure skill, which is why he could still see another season similar to the breakout one from two years ago.

That is a tall order with how much change has gone on with the Predators, but remember that they started to pick it up when they inserted young talent to the lineup, when Forsberg was not there. Not only that, but with a more offensively inclined head coach in Andre Brunette, Forsberg could really benefit.

I expect Forsberg to bounce back from a tough 2022-23 campaign, even if he does not reach the production from 2021-22.

Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses for Filip Forsberg

As mentioned, one of Forsberg’s biggest assets is his pure skill, which is critical for his longevity as he is getting close to age 30. Aside from that, his consistency over the years has been valuable.

Throughout the years and especially the down ones for the Predators, he has always been among the higher producers on the team. He has not been consistently elite, but unlike so many players who have not lived up to expectations, he has almost always met them if not more.

It is why even in a year of great change for the Predators, Forsberg can still be counted on to be very productive.


One major and unfortunate weakness, however, has been his durability. It is a tough deal, because injuries in general, and many of the ones Forsberg has suffered cannot be controlled, but his history is impossible to ignore at this point.

The last time he played a full 82-game season was 2016-17, and in all but one since then, he has missed no fewer than thirteen games. It is clearly holding him back from reaching the elite tier of forwards in the league, and Predators fans are always left imagining if he had just played a full season.

It is another reason why, if he just stays healthy, he could reach or at least get closer to his level of play from the 2021-22 season. But he has to prove that he can do that, regardless of who is to blame for the injuries.