The Nashville Predators continue to show an ability to retool on the fly as they have a solid set of prospects despite being a consistent contender in the Central division. The Predators average first pick in the draft over the last five year is 25th.
The strength of the Predators prospect is, as usual, found on the back end. Dante Fabbro and Sam Girard both have high end point potential while Allard, Murphy, Dougherty, and Carrier all have the tools to be fantasy options down the road.
Up front the Predators lack a true game breaking offensive talent however there are still some decent fantasy options. Fiala, Kamenev, and Arvidsson have the potential to be top 6 players while players like Novak, Trenin, Pitlick, Maenalanen, and Kirkland are ones to keep an eye on long term.
In net the Predators boast one of the top goaltending prospects in Juuse Saros who has put up pristine numbers everywhere he has played. Additionally Mazanec has already shown he can measure up against NHL talent and he will get the opportunity to backup Pekka Rinne this upcoming season.
The Predators should once again be in the thick of the Central division battle and the Predators stellar draft history is one of the big reasons why.
Prospect Depth Chart
Nashville Predators Top 10 Prospects
1. Dante Fabbro
2. Sam Girard
3. Kevin Fiala
4. Vladislav Kamenev
5. Juuse Saros
6. Viktor Arvidsson
7. Thomas Novak
8. Yakov Trenin
9. Frederic Allard
10. Trevor Murphy
Thomas Novak – After putting up point per game numbers for Waterloo in the USHL, Novak moved to the NCAA ranks with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Novak's transition to the college was seamless and he had a very successful freshman year potting six goals and 27 points in 37 games. Novak's stellar season resulted in him getting an invite to team USA's World Junior Evaluation Camp this summer. Novak is one to watch moving forward as he has the skillset to be a point producer. His playmaking skills have always been there but his ability to stand up to more physical competition is an encouraging sign.
Trevor Murphy – A late bloomer, Murphy went undrafted however his rookie season in the AHL provided glimpses of his offensive potential. He has a big shot from the point and led the Admirals defencemen with 11 goals to go with 32 points in 59 games. He also scored 24 goals in his last season in the OHL. In a league where teams are looking more and more for offence from the back end Murphy could be a sleeper in deep leagues.
Jonathan-Ismael Diaby – Put a fork in him. Diaby was already a longshot to be a fantasy option however the former 64th overall pick is falling rapidly down the depth chart of defenceman. Even for a defensive-minded defenceman six points in 43 ECHL games is not good enough. With the recent influx of talented D in Nashville's most recent draft it would be a surprise to ever see Diaby in a Predators uniform.
Zachary Stepan – Stepan has not been able to build on his 21 points freshman season and seems to have stalled in his development. His junior year this past season he potted 13 points in 34 games for Minnesota State University Mankato which put him 10th on the team in scoring. Stepan is unlikely to receive a contract offer after he graduates and seems like a minor-pro player at best at this point.