Aug 18, 2013, 8:15 PM EDT
It’s more than reasonable to ask: “Who, exactly, is going to score for this team next season?” Looking at the makeup of the roster, the hopeful answer might come from within.
One can assume that the team’s defense might actually generate a lot of the offense, but Barry Trotz and David Poile are probably crossing their fingers that the team’s young scorers will leap forward. Here are four players worth noting:
Gabriel Bourque (22): Only David Legwand (12 goals) topped Bourque’s 11 tallies in 2013, and the young forward (no relation to Ray) played in 14 fewer contests. Legwand, Bourque and Mike Fisher were the three Predators who were able to score 10+ goals last season.
Colin Wilson (23): The seventh pick of the 2008 draft finished his 2013 season with 18 points in his last 18 games (19 in 25 overall) before injuries shut things down. He has a solid 46 goals in 210 career regular season contests.
Patric Hornqvist (26): Unlike the other guys on this list, Nashville would probably be delighted if Hornqvist merely matches his past exploits. The Predators might dream of him matching his career-high of 30 goals in 2009-10, but they’d likely settle for 20+ goals, too.
Craig Smith (23): He hasn’t produced on the level of the other young scorers, yet he has the potential to dazzle at any moment. Smith could make a nice step forward if he can stay out of Trotz’s doghouse.
As it stands, the Predators have a glut of NHL-caliber forwards, so it’s possible that they might even tweak this group a bit.
Either way, Nashville will likely need a couple of these players to take the next step forward or the Predators’ offense could really sputter in 2013-14.
More from Predators day at PHT
- Shots fired! ‘Canes owner Karmanos rips into Jim Rutherford (Updated) 30
- Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency 23
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 38
- Getting clutch? Capitals sign Justin Williams for two years, $6.5M 20
- Coyotes bring back Vermette with two-year deal 33
- Bruins sign Beleskey for five years, despite some warning signs 48
- Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’ 33
- Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million 27
- ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’ 46
- Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds 17
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)