Four Things to Address for Nashville Predators Post Roster Freeze

The Predators at 19-15-0 have exceeded early season expectations, but their roster still has a lot of fluidity and questions to be answered.

Nashville Predators v Philadelphia Flyers
Nashville Predators v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Luke Prokop, Joakim Kemell
Milwaukee Admirals v Rockford Icehogs / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Any Prospects on the Radar that Deserve a Call-Up in 2nd Half of Season?

The Predators haven't been forced to make too many call-ups through the first 34 games. Spencer Stastney and Marc Del Gaizo have been called up as defensemen for short stitns, and Mark Jankowski is the only forward that was called up, but he's not a true prospect.

First player that comes to mind is Joakim Kemell. He is fourth on the Milwaukee Admirals in points with 19, and tied for second on the team in goals with eight.

Kemell has a sniper of a shot that will translate well to the NHL, but obviously he has some rounding out of his game before making the fulltime jump. But depending on what happens at the trade deadline, and whether or not the Predators are still firmly competing for a playoff spot, they might make room to call him up for a few games down the stretch.

Egor Afanasyev also has 19 points for the Admirals this season, and already has made his NHL debut last season. It was pretty surprising that he wasn't able to make the Predators roster out of training camp. That's two consecutive years that Afanasyev appeared ready to make the permanent jump to the NHL, but hasn't been able to do so.

Denis Gurianov, who has 280 games of NHL experience and leads the Admirals in points with 24, feels like the next player up among the forwards to get a call-up to the Predators. The problem with that scenario is, if you call him up he's waiver eligible if you send him back down. So you have to keep that in mind.

It seems like a matter of time util Stastney gets called back up. Really we're just waiting on the Barrie trade to finally happen, which was already addressed earlier in this piece.

I don't really see any other prospects for the Admirals that are ready to make the jump to the NHL or need to be rushed. Maybe Zachary L'Heureux if the Predators really get ravaged by injuries and tank in the standings.

Don't expect too many call-ups in the second half of the season unless injuries really pile up.