2. Philip Tomasino: 2024 RFA, $863,333 Cap Hit (Entry Level Contract)
I pinpointed Philip Tomasino as a player going into the season who had something to prove to the Predators front office as he was entering the final year of his ELC. After a rocky start and getting healthy scratched, he has bounced back and trending in the right direction towards getting his first NHL standard contract.
If Trotz is serious about staying the course on the "retool" that they like to call this with the young core of player, then Tomasino has to be one of your top priorities to get a new contract.
Tomasino signaled the shift into a youth movement that we've been talking about since then. He was drafted 24th-overall in 2019 and his stock skyrocketed on his path to the NHL. He made his debut in the 2021-22 season and put up 32 points in 76 games.
After bouncing back down to the AHL, Tomasino has continued to prove himself and battle through adversity as a bottom six player now. He's making the most of his minutes with just 12:44 of average ice time, which is nearly a three minute decrease from his 31 games last season.
Despite that, Tomasino is eighth on the Predators in points with 17 while looking to make a noticeable impact on the second power play unit.
With nearly half of a season left for Tomasino to further his case of getting a new contract, it seems pretty likely the Predators will commit to him for at least another couple of years with his first NHL standard contract at age 22.