Nashville Predators Have Found a Gem in Kiefer Sherwood

Nashville Predators left wing Kiefer Sherwood (44) celebrates with teammates after a goal during the second period against the Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators left wing Kiefer Sherwood (44) celebrates with teammates after a goal during the second period against the Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators are seven games into the 2023-24 season and have posted a respectable 3-4-0 record. Now some may say that record is not very good, I would disagree.

Starting the season by playing your first five games all against teams that scored over 100 points just one season ago, while you are going through somewhat of a rebuild, is not setting you up for success.

There have been some positives for this Nashville Predators team so far and one that has really stood out is the level of play of Kiefer Sherwood.

Where did Kiefer Sherwood Come From?

Prior to getting his opportunity to play professional hockey, Sherwood played for the University of Miami (Ohio). In his three seasons there, Sherwood skated in 106 regular season games and posted 86 points.

Sherwood’s best season in college was the 2016-17 season when he averaged over a point per game with 14 goals and 24 assists in 36 games played.

For the 2017-2018 season, Sherwood finally got his break to play professional hockey. While it was a very small sample size, the Columbus, OH native, skated in 11 games with the Anaheim Ducks affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.

Before coming to the Nashville Predators, the undrafted forward, played for the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Eagles in addition to his time with the San Diego Gulls.

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Kiefer Sherwood and the Nashville Predators…

Sherwood signed a 1 year/$750,000 AAV contract with the Nashville Predators on July 14, 2022.

Surprisingly making the opening night roster for the Predators for the 2022-23 season, Sherwood scored the first goal of the NHL season against the San Jose Sharks.

His time in Nashville did not last long though as he was placed on waivers on November 2, 2022. Luckily, he cleared waivers and was sent to the Milwaukee Admirals. He was nearly a point-per-game player for the Admirals in 42 games and notching 38 points (22 goals, 16 assists).

Late in the season, the Nashville Predators started to struggle with injuries to some of their top forwards. This opened the door for Sherwood to get called back up to play for the team that calls Smashville home in late February.

Sherwood would go on to play in 27 more games for the Predators and had six goals and five assists during that time. One thing that really stuck out to the coaching staff was the effort that Sherwood put forth every game.

The drive, dedication, and potential that Sherwood showed the coaching staff and front office is what led to him signing another 1 year contract just two days after their season came to an end.

Fast forward to training camp in preparation for the 2023-24 season, Sherwood was a player that new Predators Head Coach Andrew Brunette knew would fit into his system and style of play, earning himself, once again, a spot on the opening night roster.

In the short sample size that I have seen of Sherwood this season, he has not disappointed at all. Playing in all seven games, Sherwood has two goals and two assists while averaging just 11:48 time on ice.

Not only is Sherwood making an impact on the offensive side of play for the Nashville Predators, but he also has five blocks, 12 hits, and three takeaways. His level of play has been phenomenal thus far as he is still a 0 in giveaways and is a +6 in the +/- column.

And we cannot forget the fact that Sherwood also had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in just a 6:46 time frame against the San Jose Sharks in a 5-1 victory. He can shoot, he can dish out some apples, and he can fight. Is there anything that this 28-year-old cannot do?

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What is the Future for Sherwood?

Now, I am not Barry Trotz, Andrew Brunette, or anyone that makes decisions for the Nashville Predators, but I can say one thing is certain, if I were one of these individuals, I would be trying to ensure that Sherwood was kept on my roster.

The effort that he shows every time his skates touch the ice is contagious. The level of energy that he brings rubs off on those around him and makes the team better overall.

One of my favorite movies is “Days of Thunder”, and there is a line in that movie that makes me think of Sherwood; “Loose is fast, and on the edge of out of control”.

The style of play that Sherwood is loose, fast, and on the edge of out of control but he has the skillset and ability to keep it under control as he has only one minor penalty in addition to his fighting major.

The Predators should already be talking to Sherwood’s agent and working out a contract to keep him in a Predators sweater at seasons end.