Potential Impact for Juuso Parssinen Addition to Nashville Predators Playoff Roster

After not playing in an NHL game since January 20th, Juuso Parssinen has been recalled to the Preds playoff roster for Game 3 against the Canucks.
Dec 15, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Nashville Predators center Juuso Parssinen (75) is
Dec 15, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Nashville Predators center Juuso Parssinen (75) is / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year when NHL teams can call up as many players as they want to the playoff roster and choose to dress who they want for each game, and that next opportunity from the Nashville Predators is going to Juuso Parssinen.

Parssinen started the 2023-24 campaign on the Predators starting roster and even scored a goal in the season-opener, but was sent down to the AHL Milwaukee Admirals on January 23 and never resurfaced to the NHL level.

With the Predators adding Anthony Beauvillier and Jason Zucker at the trade deadline, it made it even more difficult for Parssinen to find his way back into the NHL starting lineup. He made the most of it by recoding 25 points (7g, 18a) in 36 games with the Admirals down the stretch as that team won their division title and top seed in the Calder Cup playoffs.

Parssinen Has Worked Hard to Get his Way Back to Preds Lineup for Playoffs

Parssinen is a prime example of a young player taking the AHL detour in stride and not letting it bash their confience. Instead, he has used this as an opportunity to grow his game more to prepare to make a possible impact on the Predators in the postseason.

One reason that reassigning Parssinen to Milwaukee when the Predators did in late January was his ice time was dwindling. His last game was against the Coyotes on January 20 and he only got 10:06 of ice time. The game before that, just 11:17 of time on ice.

You certainly don't want a young talent wasting away with minimal minutes on the ice and losing that confidence. General Manager Barry Trotz and Head Coach Andrew Brunette have brought up that possibility in the past and how difficult the early years can be for a young prospect to make it consistently on the NHL level.

Apparently Brunette and Trotz have liked what they've seen from Parssinen during his nearly three-month stint with the surging Admirals, and now I would personally be shocked if we don't see Parssinen in the starting lineup for Game 3 on Friday night.

Parssinen has gained confidence in his game while with the Admirals, per the team's official website during media availability on Thursday.

"“I feel like I’ve gotten more puck touches and got that feeling back and my offensive game how it should be… It’s really nice to be back here. I've been watching and [the Predators] have been doing unreal, so I'm just trying to do my best.”

Nashville Predators Official Website

Calling Parssinen up is possibly a direct respone to the Predators having a lack of offensive pop in their first two games, despite pulling out a 4-1 gritty Game 2 win that still saw the Canucks by around 50 shot attempts. Luckily many of those shots missed the net and the rest was taken care of by tenacious blocking by Predators defenders and some clutch goaltending from Juuse Saros.

The Predators have amassed just 35 shots on goal in the first two games, and they're going up against backup goalie Casey DeSmith again in Game 3. But none of that matters if you can't test the goalie with high danger chances. Parssinen can offer a wrinkle to the offense and give the Canucks defense a different look.

Parssinen is a big body as we know. He's also a crafty skater and can facilitate offense to create scoring chances for his linemates. A recharged Parssinen should be able to provide some extra secondary scoring, but who does he replace in the startling lineup if he does get into Game 3?

I wouldn't expect Beauvillier to be pulled out after scoring a critical goal in Game 2, and nearly opening up the scoring in Game 1 if not for a brilliant pad save by Thatcher Demko. He put up four shots on goal in Game 2 and has a proven playoff track record with 29 points in 49 games.

The only spot I can reasonably find to get Parssinen into the Game 3 starting lineup is taking Mark Jankowski off the Tommy Novak/Luke Evangelista second line. This line combination including Parssinen played about 43 minutes of ice time together in the regular season.


Where Do You Plug in Parssinen to the Starting Lineup? Who Comes Out?

The risk you take with putting this line together is the inexperience factor. No veteran presence against a heavy-hitting Canucks team is a gamble that could blow up in your face.

There's also the possibility that Parssinen doesn't start and is just being called up as an extra depth piece in case an injury occurs in Game 3 in what is turned out to be a very physically demanding series for the Predators.

There hasn't been any official injury news dropped by the team in relation to Parssinen's call up, but that could change leading up to pregame skate if a guy is a gametime decision.

I do find it hard to see where Parssinen gets plugged into the starting lineup unless an injury has occurred, or you swap him out with Jankowski. You're not breaking up the tone setter fourth line with Michael McCarron, Kiefer Sherwood and Cole Smith. At least I wouldn't suggest it in this type of a series.

You're also not benching any of the veterans in this situation, so that really leaves only Jankowski as a player i would take out for Parssinen, unless an injury ends up getting announced and someone can't suit up.

This is a good problem to have. It shows the depth the Nashville Predators have built over the last few years. I would love to see Parssinen get a shot in the playoffs. Let's see what happens when the lines in warmups are announced.

Next. Preds. The Last Ride for Juuse Saros in a Preds Sweater?. dark