Nashville Predators Key Stat Leaders: Forsberg Charges Offense, McDonagh's Defense

Over a quarter of the way through 2023-24, here's an update on Preds Stat Leaders

Nov 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) celebrates
Nov 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) celebrates / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Nov 22, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) skates
Nov 22, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) skates / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Goals and assists: Filip Forsberg

I decided to put both goals and assists under the same discussion, since they both fall under the category of points, and happen to be led by the same player. Forsberg has 14 goals and 16 assists in 27 games and has been on an absolute offensive tear to start the 2023-24 season.

There really is not a thing he has not done well this year, whether that be shooting, passing, skating, overall vision, you name it. Forsberg has done it all, and it truly looks like having an offensive-minded coach in Andrew Brunette is helping him tremendously, as he is still in his "prime" years.

This feels very reminiscent to Forsberg's 2021-22 season, when he missed 13 games and still had 42 goals, and was not the team leader only because Matt Duchene had 43. It is also a huge deal for Forsberg because many were worried after he suffered a brutal concussion that ended his 2022-23 campaign, but it does not look to be bothering him in the slightest.

As far as the rest of the competition on the Predators goes, the only one who is near him in goals is Ryan O'Reilly with 12. I do not expect that to change much if at all, as there are no other players on the team with the combination of refined offensive skill plus experience.

Tommy Novak may have had a shot if he did not get injured, but expectations for him would have had to be realistic anyway since he is one of those players with virtually zero experience, and is expected go through some inconsistency before fully finding himself.

As for assists, the next guys threatening Forsberg are Gustav Nyquist with 15, Roman Josi with 14, and O'Reilly, Luke Evangelista, and Tyson Barrie tied for 10. The only thing I find surprising about that is that O'Reilly is not higher up on the list.

We know his role on offense as being a force in the middle of the ice, and he will control the puck lots of times and distribute it to open guys. With him being so heavily involved as the top center on the Predators, I expect him to close the gap with Forsberg sooner rather than later.

Now in terms of overall points, Forsberg is of course well in the lead with 30, and next are O'Reilly with 22, Josi with 20, and Nyquist with 18. If I expect O'Reilly to rise up in the assists category, I also expect him to improve a bit here as well, but these are by far the Predators' most established weapons on offense, and by and large, it is expected to stay that way throughout the season.