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
Jul 10, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT
Two depth moves for San Jose.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT
They also gave Rinat Valiev an entry-level contract.
Jul 10, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT
He was a hockey operations advisor for two years after ending his playing career.
Jul 10, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT
Both agreed to two-way contracts after making their NHL debuts last season.
Jul 10, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT
He has a window of opportunity to agree to terms with an NHL team.
Jul 10, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT
It gives him a chance to prove himself.
Jul 10, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT
His contract is reportedly worth up to $2.5 million with bonuses.
Jul 10, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
He’s expected to help mentor the team’s younger players.
Jul 10, 2014, 4:04 PM EDT
It was a big weakness for Dallas last season, but the additions of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky should change that.
Jul 10, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
Could this be a preview of things to come in the NHL?
Jul 10, 2014, 2:42 PM EDT
Hearing is scheduled for July 23.
Jul 10, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
The contracts the Leafs gave David Clarkson and Mike Komisarek are decent evidence of that.
Jul 10, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
Thus avoiding arbitration.
Jul 10, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
“He is a big, strong and physical defenseman who is one of the building blocks for our team.”
Jul 10, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT
“I don’t want to turn this into a personal thing or get it to that point, because it’s not like that.”
Jul 10, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
But may get traded anyway.
Jul 10, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
Joins Mike Johnston’s staff in Pittsburgh.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT
Both good faceoff men.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT
And he’ll get the chance to prove it next season with the Ducks.
Jul 10, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Former Wild, Isles center is off to EV Zug.
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