Samuel Fagemo Could Unlock Nashville Predators Offensive Potential

Oct 21, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Samuel Fagemo (11) passes the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Samuel Fagemo (11) passes the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

You cannot stress enough how vital it is to a power play to have pure and raw shooters available, and the Nashville Predators may have that extra boost it needs with Samuel Fagemo.

Fagemo made his Nashville Predators debut and scored a power play goal on Saturday night in an entertaining 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. It moves the Predators to 3-3-0 on the young season.

Talk about fast results from a player you picked up on waivers seemingly out of nowhere and kind of a gift from the hockey gods. As it has been well noted, the LA Kings organization did not want to lose Fagemo but had to carve out roster space.

Now I can’t help but think that the universe is balancing itself out a bit by forgiving the Predators’ ineptitude they displayed less than a year ago when they lost another power play sniper, Eeli Tolvanen, on waivers. A situation even former General Manager David Poile admitted may have been a huge mistake on his part.

Kiefer Sherwood certainly appreciates having a wicked shot like Fagemo has in the lineup, as he told the Bally Sports South crew in a postgame interview:

"“With guys like that, you just try to get them the puck and let them do their work”. -Sherwood told Bally Sports South’s Kara Hammer after the Sharks Win."

Fagemo Could Be Final Missing Piece to Unlocking Nashville Predators Offense

After a really rocky start and not being able to finish on scoring chances through the first four games, it was easy to wonder when Fagemo was going to make his season debut. He was claimed off waivers from the Kings on October 2.

Then the unexpected benching of Philip Tomasino and the injury to Cody Glass paved the way for Fagemo to get into the lineup against the Sharks. He wasted little time, scoring the power play goal in the first period and keeping the Predators ahead for good on the scoreboard.

It was nearly a two-goal night for Fagemo. He got loose right in the front of Mackenzie Blackwood and the puck just rolled on him as he was trying to beat the goaltender’s left pad.

A near perfect team debut for Fagemo, finishing with four shots on goal and being very engaged in what was going on. Almost like he had been in the starting lineup since the season opener.

Fagemo has raw talent with his shot. You set him up on one side of the ice, and it takes pressure off other power play producers like

Filip Forsberg


Roman Josi

. All of the attention from opposing penalty kills wants to focus on Forsberg, but with Fagemo out there, it becomes a pick your poison proposition.

Massive credit to

Gustav Nyquist

for making a perfect pass to find Fagemo skating without much attention being paid to him. You give Fagemo that much space to laser a shot at you, it’s not going to end well for your goaltender on most occasions.

This is what the best of the best power plays have in the NHL. They force teams to have to choose who they’re going to focus on, leaving others who are just as capable with open shooting lanes and room to skate.

Predators are Becoming an Offense That Comes at You in Waves

As Fagemo gets even more familiar in Head Coach Andrew Brunette‘s creative and fast system, he’s going to find ample amounts of scoring opportunities to blossom into a huge depth scorer for the Predators.

We want to see the Predators become one of those offensive teams that comes at your in waves. Sure, you want to neutralize Forsberg, Josi and Ryan O’Reilly. That’s fine, but we have lines two through four that can burn you as well.

Just the game before Cole Smith erupted for two goals against the New York Rangers, and in this win over the Sharks you get goals from Fagemo, Sherwood, Luke Evangelista and two goals from Thomas Novak.

Fagemo is another piece to that puzzle of having numerous scoring threats. The Predators have upped their power play success rate to 23 percent, good for 12th. They’re also forcing teams into penalties by pushing the pace, having 26 power play opportunities which is third most in the NHL.

Last season the Predators were 17th in power play opportunities, and were 27th in power play percentage at 17.6 percent.

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One final thing on Fagemo and how he really completes the Predators’ power play. The passing has been marvelous, almost to the point that they’re passing too much. It shows they’re really grasping on what Brunette is preaching, and the goals will start to flow now.

Fagemo needs to be in the lineup to stay. I wanted him in sooner, but understood that he was still learning the system and coaches probably felt he needed more time. That feels to be the overwhelming reason why Tomasino has been moved out.

What happens with Tomasino and how he gets back into the lineup is a topic for another day, but you can’t help but be ecstatic about stumbling upon Fagemo and what he might be able to produce for the Nashville Predators power play in 2023-24.