Egor Afanasyev for Ozzy Wiesblatt: Nashville Predators Trade Analysis

The Predators announced a trade with the Sharks that sends Egor Afanasyev out West and brings in Ozzy Wiesblatt.
Apr 10, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators left wing Egor Afanasyev (70) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators left wing Egor Afanasyev (70) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports / Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Predators announced on Sunday that they have traded Egor Afanasyev to San Jose in exchange for former 31st-overall draft pick Ozzy Wiesblatt.

Fans of both the Predators and the Milwaukee Admirals should be relatively familiar with Wiesblatt if they watched any of the Admirals playoff games at the end of the season, as he played with the Admirals on a loan from San Jose for 15 playoff games.

During these playoff games, Wiesblatt scored nine points and was a great addition to the playmaking and fast paced game that the Admirals were trying to play throughout the end of the postseason. 

Before being loaned to the Admirals for the playoffs, Wiesblatt played 34 games with the San Jose Barracuda where he scored 11 points. The 22-year-old is a very strong player in all situations as he is quick at making decisions. This allows him to find weaknesses in the opposing defense and allow his teammates the ability to finish plays. 

This trade may have surprised several people, as Afanasyev had quite the breakout season for the Admirals. The 23-year-old forward scored 54 points in 56 games with the Admirals this season, which was over a 30 point jump from the 2022/23 season. 

The former 45th overall pick has shown great work ethic and improvement throughout his time with the Predators organization, which has been very refreshing and great to see for fans. 

This move was most likely given to Afanasyev for an opportunity to get NHL playing time in an organization that is going through a deep reset. Afanasyev made such a big jump in his game this season, but the opportunity to play in Nashville and get NHL time would be slim because of the forward group that is already in Milwaukee.

It is usually relatively difficult to find a forward that is capable of playing in all situations, but Afanasyev was able to take this position in Milwaukee, as he played on the power play, penalty kill, and all different special teams play. 

Afanasyev is clearly ready for some NHL playing experience. Although it is going to be a big loss for Milwaukee and possible depth in Nashville, this is definitely a good move for him in his development and progress, and all Predators fans should be wishing him nothing but the best in his time there, as he consistently gave everything that he had to the Predators organization during his time there. 

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