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Forsberg will debut tonight on Preds’ top line

Apr 14, 2013, 6:13 PM EST

Filip Forsberg #16 of Team Sweden skates against Team Finland at the USA hockey junior evaluation camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 7, 2012 in Lake Placid, New York. Team Sweden defeated Finland 8-2.
(August 6, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Nashville has no realistic hope of making the playoffs this season, but Predators fans will get a glimpse of the team’s future tonight.

18-year-old forward Filip Forsberg, who the Predators acquired from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Martin Erat, will make his season debut vs the Detroit Red Wings, according to NHL.com. To make matters more interesting, he won’t be eased into the lineup.

Forsberg is projected to play alongside David Legwand and Taylor Beck on Nashville’s first line. He will also be part of Nashville’s top power-play unit.

Forsberg was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. As far as forwards go, only Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov and Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk were claimed ahead of him.

He’s not related to Peter Forsberg, but has tried to model his game after the retired Swedish star. Filip has also drawn some favorable comparisons to Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry.

“You can see the skillset,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “He shoots the puck really hard. You can see he has good mobility for a young guy. .. (He has) great, great potential and that’s always a dangerous word because it means he hasn’t done anything.”

Nothing yet, but the Predators seem more than willing to give Forsberg every opportunity to prove that he can live up to the hype.

  1. c1md6 - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Very excited to see what this kid can do, I’m still shocked he fell so far in the draft. But with that said, go wings!!!

  2. ravenscaps48 - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Lets see what you got, kid

  3. charleslouis99 - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Probably the biggest steal of the deadline if he develops like he should. Washington made a pretty dumb panicky move.

  4. hines86for6 - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Booya-kashaw- Booya-kashaw-Booya-kashaw!!!

    • discountdoublecheck - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      Yeah…based on exactly no evaluation time at all.

      The trade was practically yesterday, lets not go over the top declaring a winner/loser just yet. These things take time.

      • discountdoublecheck - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        (meant for charleslouis99)

  5. charleslouis99 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    True there is no winner yet but I don’t think erat will run away with the scoring title anytime soon. Washington should’ve offered kuznetsov if anybody. They don’t really know Forsbergs ceiling and that could be very detrimental.

    • smgraff4 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:34 AM

      Emphasis on “could”. The Caps were relatively gunshy about this one, because of what happened with Anton Gustafson, a Swedish prospect that never panned out and left hockey pretty quickly.

      Through one game, thought what Forsberg’s strength in second-division Swedish competition showed. But also while he backchecked, he was relatively positionally unsound and doesn’t quite have the defensive instincts. The question is whether these improvements happen is a matter of time.

      Caps are set at Forsberg’s position two or three deep–with Kuznetsov and Riley Barber, and Tom Wilson getting back to health.And chances are, he would have really had to compete in DC, given, those three guys as well as the guys already on the team.

      This deal could be a win-win for both. Forsberg may be a long-term win for Nashville, but the Erat trade may be a short-term win for the Caps. And that’s okay, since both clubs are looking in those particular directions. Nashville is thinking rebuild and develop, while the Caps are under pressure to win now. End of story.

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