What is the Master Plan for Nashville Predators and Philip Tomasino?

Philp Tomasino has never gotten a consistent role with the Predators since being drafted, and his entry level contract is about to expire. What could be next for him?

Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators center Philip Tomasino (26) passes the puck in
Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators center Philip Tomasino (26) passes the puck in / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The journey for Philip Tomasino since being drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2019 has been anything but consistent, and yet he still could have a very bright future wearing the gold sweater.

For two seasons in a row, Tomasino has bounced between the NHL and AHL, but you wouldn't understand why when you just glance over his career numbers in the NHL. After all, he's put up 70 points in 148 career games despite usually being buried on the depth chart to the tune of an average ice time of 12:40.

Tomasino has seen his ice time drop three minutes on average going from Head Coach John Hynes' final season behind the bench and now to current Head Coach Andrew Brunette. Nothing like what was expected with switching to a more offensive style under Brunette, and Tomasino being an offensively skilled player.

Making things even more peculiar in the handling of Tomasino is the Predators have to make a some sort of a commitment to him either during the rest of this season or in the offseason. Tomasino is an RFA and has an expiring entry level contract at season's end.


What' the Long-Term Plan for Philip Tomasino in Nashville?

Tomasino was, to the surprise of many, sent back to the Milwaukee Admirals on February 12 and since has played in six games and logged six points. Last season Tomasino was assinged to Milwaukee before the season even began and didn't get called back up until February 13. We know what happened shortly after that with the Predators selling heavy at the trade deadline, and Tomasino closed out the season in the NHL before participating in Milwaukee's playoff run.

So is something similar in store for Tomasino before this year's trade deadline? At least for now, Nashville is sticking with the lineup that's gotten them five consecutive wins and back into a wildcard spot, per Nashville Predators radio and television host Max Herz.

Tomasino's future really seems to be hinging on what Nashville does at the trade deadline. If some key forwards get dealt, which is expected to happen, then Tomasino should not only get called back up but even get looked at for top-six minutes.

There has been trade rumblings that the Predators could be shopping Tommy Novak, Colton Sissons, Yakov Trenin and even Gustav Nyquist. All seems to be on the table with the exception of a few.

dark. Next. Preds. Latest Trade Deadline Rumblings for Preds: Novak, Carrier, Sissons

Then of course there's also the chance that Tomasino gets thrown into a trade package of some sort, although it seems unlikely. Again, nothing is really off the table for General Manager Barry Trotz.

Time is definitely running out on what to decide on with Tomasino's future is with the Nashville Predators. A highly-touted draft pick and prospect who has excelled everywhere he has played, but just hasn't gotten the same consistent opportunities in the NHL.

It alarmingly reminds me of the Eeli Tolvanen fallout, another failed draft pick who landed elsewhere and found a better role for himself. Is Tomasino heading down that same path, or are the Predators just getting him more playing time with Milwaukee before calling him back up post trade deadline? We'll know more about that two weeks from now.

Until then, I don't think it's the end all, be all that Tomasino is playing with the Admirals right now. That is a great team and you hope that Tomasino can rebuild some confidence, dominate on that level and then eventually resurface for Nashville in a couple of weeks. Then, if all goes according to plan, you re-sign him to his first NHL standard contract this offseason.

In the most recent Admirals game, which sadly ended their incredible 19-game win streak, Tomasino lined up on the second line with Liam Foudy and Juuso Parssinen.

It will be much easier to find space for Tomasino once you move on from some expiring contracts among your forwards. If you're choosing between fourth line NHL minutes or a larger role in the AHL, perhaps the better spot for Tomasino right now is the AHL.