If you’ve been paying attention to Gone Puck Wild lately, and shame on you if you haven’t, then you know school has begun as Wild fans brush up on their knowledge of the new teams within Minnesota’s division. This week, that new team just so happens to have a score to settle with Minnesota–that’s right–we’re talking about the Nashville Predators. Going through Sunday, we’ll break down Nashville’s major additions and subtractions, strengths and weaknesses, prospect pool, 2013 draft class and team outlook.
Well, what a week it’s been. We covered Nashville’s major additions and subtractions, strengths and weaknesses, prospect pool and 2013 draft class and today, we wrap up the week with the team outlook.
It’s clear the Preds are moving in a different direction. Defense is still very important to the club, and will always be the team’s backbone, however, there is a clear shift towards offense. David Poile and Barry Trotz are counting on free agent acquisitions Viktor Stalberg and Matt Cullen to help increase the number of biscuits the team is putting in the basket, and provide good veteran leadership for future top line forward Filip Forsberg.
The defense may be lacking Ryan Suter and Jonathon Blum, but still boasts veterans like Shea Weber and Kevin Klein, and promising youngsters Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and future franchise blue liner Seth Jones. Pekka Rinne is still the man in net, and will likely regain his perennial Vezina contender status by the end of the coming season.
Nashville’s prospect pool is deep and filled with character players that fit the typical Predators mold. However, after many years of drafting quality defensive prospects, the time is now to draft the next franchise top line player, or the first ever for that matter–Nashville has never been known for its elite forwards. With a few more good draft classes–and a major focus on elite-caliber offensive-minded forwards–this could be a very scary team for a long time to come.
That’s it, folks! Tomorrow begins St. Louis Blues Week here at Gone Puck Wild. We’ll see you then.