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Preds hoping for Weber, Suter-like haul after drafting Jones, Diaby

Jul 8, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT


Over at the Nashville City Paper, David Boclair has a really interesting look at two of Nashville’s first three picks at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — defensemen Seth Jones and Jonathan-Ismael Diaby.

In the piece, the Preds talk not just about their selections, but how the organization hopes to replicate what it did at the draft 10 years ago — when it selected Ryan Suter with its first pick, and Shea Weber with its fourth.

“If you think about the characteristics that [Jones and Diaby] have — the way that they both control the entire ice surface, the way they can change games both offensively and defensively,” Preds assistant GM Paul Fenton explained. “To have two guys with that stature and to be able to take that that early in the draft, we were just thrilled to take it.”

Jones, obviously, is the far more recognizable prospect and would be the “Suter” of this analogy (Suter went No. 7 overall in 2003 and was the first blueliner taken in the draft.)

Jones came into the ’13 draft as Central Scouting’s No. 1-ranked North American skater. His fall to No. 4 overall surprised some — including the Predators, who were thrilled to get him.

“Seth is a franchise-type player,” Preds GM David Poile told The Tennessean. “I really feel good about the direction our defense is headed.”

Diaby is more of a wildcard.

Physically, he’s already got NHL size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) but his game lacks offensive refinement. That said, Fenton is convinced the Preds got a steal with Diaby at No. 64 overall — not unlike Weber, who went 49th overall in 2003.

From the City Paper:

They got Diaby to potentially play alongside [Jones] one day.

A 6-foot-4, 220-pounder (he’s a little bigger and heavier than Jones), out of the Quebec Hockey League, he calls to mind Weber, whose most celebrated traits when he was drafted were his size and power.

Diaby is the kind of player who takes care of things in his own end, which seems to be a good fit for the smooth-skating and offensively gifted Jones.

“Diaby is a gigantic specimen in himself,” Fenton said. “When we interviewed him back in May he informed us that he was already 250 pounds.

“This kid is an absolute skyscraper that plays with a mean sense to his game.”

All told, the future of Nashville’s defense looks very bright. Jones and Diaby are now set to join a young group that features Ryan Ellis (22 years old), Roman Josi (23) and Mattias Ekholm (23).

  1. rsmaggiemae - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Preds still will not be able to score much even with all the D men
    Glad you got Cullen from the Wild, and I am from Minnesota
    He is too expensive at his age… but good luck to the Preds

    • cmmorgan32 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      I disagree about Cullen. By your logic, anyone over the age of 35 shouldn’t be making over 3 mil a year. However, there are multiple guys around the league that are over 35 & are getting paid more than Cullen is.

  2. jpelle82 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    i think the teams ahead of them screwed them over. if florida wouldve taken jones (like they shouldve) drouin was going to tb either way, but florida screwed it all up by taking barkov, who nashville needed badly. if nashville had the strategy of taking the best available player – then i guess they did the right thing by taking jones. if they were looking to address a need then they couldve taken a myriad of forwards that will be productive in that 4th draft spot they had. sad thing is the last 10 years have produced no results, this kind of history repeating itself is the definition of insanity.

    • vshehane - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Since the Preds have only missed the playoff 2 of the last 9 years I don’t think your “insight” is very valuable.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        yup and how many cups, conference finals, division titles have they won? thought so. how do you measure success, playoff berths? good luck with that

  3. billyhauntswizards - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    man I love what Diaby could be. Wish the Rangers were able to nab him. Went right before our first pick!

  4. adambballn - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Nashville will be great on D… but this won’t help improve their worst in the league goals scored per game average.

  5. andyb02 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    If Nashville has Weber’s replacement, the Flyers will take him off your hands.

    • jmythehead - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      With what cap space?

      • andyb02 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        The Flyers print their own money. Didn’t you know?

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      The Flyers would have to move at least 2 of the following group: Corturier, Mini Schenn, Cobi and/or Mesz. I don’t see that happening but we shall see. That being said, you know I will be rooting for both Jonesy and JIDs. The future looks very bright for the NSH blueline.

      • tescosuicide - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        “Mini” Schenn? Really?
        Weber isn’t the answer to the Flyers problems. He would just be more wasted cap space. Communication between the goal coach and head coach might be a good start… 11-12, the last REAL season would’ve been much better if Bob’s potential wasn’t stifled and Bryz could actually see the puck. If they don’t get the coaching staff aligned, this coming season is gonna be another major disappointment.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        Sorry haha. YOUNGER Schenn…does that work? Anywho, Weber would be a significant upgrade (it addresses the Flyers’ big weakness) but he wouldn’t be THE answer. The Flyers problem(s) start with the owner. Mr. Snider is getting older (80 years now) and he is running out of time. With that being the case, patience is put on the back burner. That’s why Bob was shipped outta town. But even if we had Bob, Coach Lavi’s system leaves goalies out to dry. Communicating with the goalie coach isn’t going to change his ways. Nor is ‘aligning’ the coaching staff. The Flyers need either D-men who can coach themselves (a la Chris Pronger) or a new coach.

  6. rebekah319 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Cullen maybe up in age but he can still skate and use his skill sets still. He will be just fine and I hope he finds success. His 3 years here in MN made for some really good memories that you just cant replace!

  7. hines86for6 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    The Press will never trade Weber to the Flyers unless you offer Giroux. You will not lowball us for the best young defenseman in the game.

    • tescosuicide - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      When did the Preds get Letang?
      Giroux? Stop smoking pot.

  8. hines86for6 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    And to all the ppl saying the Press should drop drafting defenseman, maybe Poole realizes he’s the best judge of talent of blue liners in the league. Hard to argue otherwise.

    he’s drafted… ready…

    Timmonen, Zidlicky, Hamhuis, Cody Franson, Suter, Weber (4th rd), Klein (4th rd), Josi. The list goes on and on.

    keep drafting and when you have the inevitable surplus trade some of them for proven forward talent. Better than the crap shoot that is the draft past round 1.

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