Top 5 Players Who Have Outperformed Preseason Expectations for Nashville Predators

You can make a case for nearly every player on the Predators outperforming expectations to some degree, but these five stick out the most for a team performing way ahead of schedule.

Nov 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Michael McCarron (47)
Nov 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Michael McCarron (47) / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Gus Nyquist, Nashville Predators
Feb 22, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender David Rittich (31) stops a / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. Gustav Nyquist- Career High in PTS at Age 34

Exploding for 65 points and a career high at age 34 is just incredible stuff. Especially considering this free agency acquisition by the Predators was very "meh" at the time. No one really bashed it, but there wasn't much hype around it, either.

There was a lot of curiosity surrounding where Nyquist would even fit it among the youth movement and not wanting to take away valuable lineup spots from Tomasino, Novak, Evangelista, etc.

After a few games of working the kinks out with the lineup, Brunette brilliantly moved Nyquist to the top line with O'Reilly and Forsberg and now it's one of the most efficient top lines in the NHL.

In fact the O'Reilly top line for Nashville has the second-most minutes played together among all forward lines in the NHL, with only the Rangers' top line having more.

It's fair to say that if Brunette doesn't ever find this match with Nyquist, or he waits to late or doesn't stick with it, then we're not seeing the Forsberg having the year he's having and O'Reilly having the year he's having. Nyquist stirs the drink, if you will.

I drastically undervalued the Nyquist signing. He has been such a major surprise, and the national NHL analysts are noticing that as well.

Nyquist drives this offense in his transition game. His skating is so effortless and smooth. There is no doubt in my mind that the Predators aren't here without Nyquist. In fact, they're probably a non-playoff team. That's why he tops my list of overperformers on this team that's full of them.

For honorable mention, I realize I left Jeremy Lauzon off which wasn't easy. He comes close and is definitely overperforming his expectations, but not as much as the others because I had reasonable faith that he would be at the very least a heavy hitther for this Predators team, and he certainly has been that and much more.

Cole Smith is another worthy honorable mention to be on this list. The others on this team who are having great seasons were much more expected.