How the Nashville Predators Should Fill Out Their Bottom Six

VANCOUVER, CANADA - NOVEMBER 05: Cole Smith #36 of the Nashville Predators is checked by Nils Aman #88 of the Vancouver Canucks during the third period of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on November 5, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Nashville won 4-3. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, CANADA - NOVEMBER 05: Cole Smith #36 of the Nashville Predators is checked by Nils Aman #88 of the Vancouver Canucks during the third period of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on November 5, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Nashville won 4-3. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images) /

The Nashville Predators have added some pieces to their forward lines over the offseason. With the additions of Denis Gurianov, Gustav Nyquist, and Ryan O’Reilly, the front office has some decisions to make for the upcoming season with the forwards on this team.

It is clear in today’s hockey, gone are the days of low scoring games for the most part. A competitive NHL team scores goals, and on most nights, scores several of them.

That is no different for the bottom two lines. More teams are going away from having a bottom line that is just a physical presence on the ice and are adding offensive firepower up and down the lineup.

For the Predators, they are in a position to be able to do that this season with the young talent coming up from the AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, and the individuals signed during the offseason.

Let’s take a look now at what the bottom six could look like for this Nashville Predators team for the 2023-24 season and what they can do to help improve the offense.

Nashville Predators Offensive Third Line

I would expect the Predators to go with a combination of experience and young players on the third line to open things up. A solid third line would like something like Juuso Parssinen, Thomas Novak, and Colton Sissons.

Starting with Parssinen, the young, 22-year-old, forward skated in 45 games with the Predators last season and produced 25 points over that time. One area that he needs to improve in, and will over time in the big show, is his shots.

Only having 49 shots on goal in his 45 games is a number that needs to go up from an individual that has the ability to be a 25+ goal scorer per season in the NHL.

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Then there is Thomas “Tommy” Novak. What a breakout year he just had. Getting the callup from Milwaukee in December 2022, Novak proved to the coaching staff and front office that he had hat it took to compete night in and night out at the NHL level.

Having one goal and two assists in his first three games, Novak didn’t slow down, scoring at almost a point per game pace the remainder of the season. This included three multi-goal outings.

Finishing the season with 43 points in 51 games, and only having eight penalty minutes while doing so, if Novak starts the season in the bottom-six, I would not be surprised to see him move up the lineup.

Colton Sissons fills out this possible third line for the Predators, coming in as the veteran center and steady presence. He has played among the most games on the team since 2018.

So, if nothing else, Sissons would add consistency to a bottom six line. But there is more; Sissons is coming off a season that saw him tie his career high in points with 30 points. Add that to having 72 blocked shots, 164 hits, and only 27 giveaways, Sissons has proved himself to be an anchor for the Predators bottom lines.

Looking at those three players as a potential third line for the Predators would add scoring depth to the lineup. Sissons as the veteran centering Parssinen and Novak who are still very early in their NHL careers.

Nashville Predators Gritty Fourth Line

The Nashville Predators still have grit along with scoring ability to add to a fourth line that will be a force for any top line to play against.

A fourth line of Denis Gurianov, Yakov Trenin, and Kiefer Sherwood would be a solid fourth line for this Predators organization. Scoring a total of 24 goals and 28 assist in 175 games combined in 2022-23. That is a decent amount of scoring coming from a bottom line in the NHL.

Gurianov, who was signed by the Predators this past offseason to a one-year contract, will be looking to add to that contract come seasons end. I expect him to fit in well with Head Coach Andrew Brunette‘s run and gun coaching style, potentially having a career year with around 15 goals and 20 assists.

Yakov Trenin is definitely a name that is now known across the NHL as an individual that has the ability to make clutch plays and will not back down from a fight when needed.

Trenin tied a career high in points with 24, but is coming into a crossroads of his future in a Predators uniform. Due to be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. This would mean trying a new experiment with Trenin as a center.

Finally, there is Sherwood. After bouncing around early in his career, playing for three different NHL teams, and going from the AHL to the NHL several times, Sherwood has made a name for himself with this Predators front office and coaching staff.


One area that he does need to improve on is his discipline on the ice as he accumulated 30 penalty minutes in his 32 games played during the 2022-23 season for the Predators. But, let’s not forget, Sherwood made the opening night roster the Predators one season ago and scored the first goal of the 2022-23 NHL Regular season.

Other Possibilities for the Nashville Predators Bottom-6

The additions that the Nashville Predators have made to their forwards will leave some NHL caliber players not making this starting roster. Individuals such as Mark Jankowski, Cole Smith, and Anthony Angello are all trying to earn their spot in a Predators sweater.

Any of those three players would be a good addition to the lineup in the absence of a Predators regular, whether due to injury or lack of production on the ice.

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If you look at Stanley Cup Champions of seasons past, none of them have been won by having one or two lines that can put the puck in the back of the net. It takes an entire team effort and production from all lines to bring home the Stanley Cup.

Regardless as to who ends up making the opening night roster for the Predators, one thing is certain, they will need production up and down the lineup every game if they are going to be contenders to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.