The Nashville Predators have made the playoffs for five straight seasons, ranking fourth in the NHL with a record of 229-128-53 since 2014-15.
Nashville has done an excellent job improving their lineup each season but they have done so at the expense of their farm system. The Predators have just two high-end prospects in their system right now. They traded Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamanev to acquire Kyle Turris, which really depleted their youth. Not having a first, second or third round pick last year did not help either. As it stands now, Eeli Tolvanen and Dante Fabbro are their only quality prospects, but both are ready to graduate to the NHL.
Tolvanen looked like a lock for the NHL last season but struggled early on and was demoted to Milwaukee (AHL), where he posted 15 goals and 20 assists (35 points) in 58 games. The 20-year-old has an electrifying shot and will be given another chance to stick with the Predators this fall.
Fabbro finished his Junior season at Boston University with 33 points (7G / 26A), which was good for second on the team. He then moved to the NHL, where he had one goal in four regular-season games and picked up one assist in six playoff games. With such a deep blue line in Nashville, Fabbro should be eased into the league as a third-pairing defenseman and will thrive in that role. He would probably see power-play time on another team but there is too much talent ahead of him in Nashville.
With the No.24 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Nashville Predators select…
Jakob Pelletier — LW — Canada 🇨🇦
Nashville needs to add some forwards that can put the puck in the back of the net and Pelletier showcased he can do that in his second QMJHL season. Pelletier finished the season tied for 11th in goals (39), ninth in assists (50) and seventh in points (89).
The left-winger is under-sized (5-foot-9, 161 lbs.) but you wouldn’t know it by watching him. Pelletier makes a living by going to the dirty areas to score goals and has the ability to do so when he gets there. His 50 assists also show that he is an above-average playmaker. Pelletier has some flaws, mainly his skating, but he makes up for it with his compete-level and versatility—he is capable of playing all three forward positions and kills penalties while being a team leader in points.
With Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson locked up long-term, the Predators top-line is set. They have to hope that Tolvanen can take a step forward this year and become a second line player and Pelletier could join him in the top-6 in a couple of seasons.
Despite his massive point total (39 goals-89 points in 65 games), Pelletier is not a natural scorer. He’s a fine skater but doesn’t have an explosive stride. His stride breaks down at times, but I’ve seen him pull away from players at times too. He’s skilled but won’t dangle defenders or go end to end. Rather he’s a very smart and very competitive forward. — Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
Lightning quick hands, tight edges, and a flair for the dramatic. Despite his size, he’s not afraid to cut into the dirty area of the rink. Already a deft two-way threat and can play all three forward positions. Would like to see even better acceleration and top-end speed for his size. — Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects)
- #39 — HockeyProspect.com
- #20 — Future Considerations
- #32 — ISS Hockey
- #27 — NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)