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Can Nashville’s 2013 draft pick defensemen make this year’s team?

Aug 18, 2013, 2:45 PM EST

2013 NHL Draft - Portraits Getty Images

One of the biggest things to happen at the NHL Draft for the Nashville Predators was seeing No. 1 prospect defenseman Seth Jones fall into their lap with the fourth overall pick.

Many people believe Jones is the guy who will make Ryan Suter an afterthought in Nashville. Meanwhile, third-round pick Jonathan-Ismael Diaby has some thinking he along with Jones will be the Suter-Shea Weber combo of the Preds’ future.

The question to ask now is: Can both players make the Preds roster this season? It could happen.

Here’s what Nashville’s defensive setup looks like right now:

Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Kevin Klein – Seth Jones
Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis
Victor Bartley

The top four seems almost destined to happen. Josi had a breakout season playing alongside Weber and earned himself a big contract extension because of it. Some think Jones is set to play alongside Weber, but they’re both right-handed shots. Pairing the improving Klein with Jones would seem more likely.

Those final two spots would seem to be up for grabs and Diaby could fit into that mix.

source:  At 6’5″ 223-pounds, Diaby is already NHL-sized as an 18-year-old. Last season with Victoriaville in the QMJHL, he had just 4 goals and 22 assists but punished opponents to the tune of 117 penalty minutes. That kind of mean streak and physicality is lacking on the Preds blue line as Ekholm and Ellis are better puckhandlers than hitters.

Nashville’s “Smashville” brand of hockey gets plenty of grit-and-grind from the forwards but it’s lacking from the defense. Diaby could change that up drastically.

One thing working against the possibility is age. Would coach Barry Trotz trust two 18-year-old defenseman to make the jump right into the NHL? Jones is a virtual lock to start right away but Diaby may need more refinement to his game. Trotz along with new assistant coach and legendary defenseman Phil Housley will have plenty to look at when camp opens next month.

  1. jennettalia - Aug 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    I’ve always found Klein to be a bit of a bum. I’d rather see Ellis get the top 4 spot, but Bartley played top 4 during his half of the season last season, so he should challenge for the spot. Keeping in mind, he was literally the only Nashville defenceman that was positive or even last year. Kid looked fine out there, even in limited games.

    • deathbyspl - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Ellis was garbage last year. He couldn’t even make an impact when he was sent down to Milwaukee. He’ll need to step his game up if he wants to see more of a role than just on the 2nd PP squad.

      Klein has been great at being a shutdown d-man the past 2 seasons and was the least penalized d-man in the league. Compared to Bartley, he played all season and was a -1 on a team next to last in goals against. That said, with his extensive (and cheap!)contract he could make for good trade bait with NYI, Oilers, Jets, or Avs if Seth Jones proves to be the real deal his rookie year.

  2. DonkeyStick - Aug 18, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    After hearing nothing but “Seth Jones will be the #1 pick” for an entire year, and then “how stupid teams were for passing on him”, HE BETTER MAKE THE TEAM!!!!

  3. multiplemiggs - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    that colored boy better make the team after all that hype talk

    • lateralous - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      What is this, 1965? Lame

  4. vshehane - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Multiplemiggs, could you be a bigger a-hole? I doubt it.

  5. multiplemiggs - Aug 18, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I sure can n*ggerlover.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      He’s some science for you. Did you know black people have more human DNA than white people? FYI. No one is forcing you to use that bit of neanderthal DNA you have left. Feel free to evolve with the rest of the world.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        Here’s*

  6. multiplemiggs - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    Meanwhile it says Nazi in your name lol

    • jl9830 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Can some type of moderator please ban this troll?

  7. multiplemiggs - Aug 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    hahaha

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