Last year, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile went into the NHL draft adamant he would take a forward.
And then Seth Jones — the highest-rated prospect on the Predators’ draft board — fell to the club at No. 4 overall. As such, Nashville grabbed the high-end blueliner.
With the Predators parting ways with Barry Trotz — the only coach in the organization’s first 15 seasons — and hiring Peter Laviolette as the new coach, offense has now become the order of the day.
In fact, for a few months already, going beyond the NHL trade deadline, Poile has had plans on giving the Predators a "new look."
Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok — the center that Nashville received from Detroit in exchange for longtime Pred David Legwand — are part of that offensive reconstruction. Jarnkrok had a very successful debut with Nashville this season, totaling nine points in 12 games and a plus-7 rating.
Among the players who finished as the Predators’ top line this season (Matt Cullen, Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist), there is a bit of age, ripe for replenishing or replacing in a couple of years.
Overall, Cullen (37 years old), Fisher (33), Eric Nystrom (31) and Paul Gaustad (32) are all in their 30s. Consequently, the Predators need forwards.
As they look to add skill at forward, the Predators could be in luck come draft time (June 27 in Philadelphia). At the top end, the draft is chock-full of forwards.
The Predators own the 11th overall selection in Round 1: Here are some potential prospects at that slot:
Here is something that could be music to the Predators’ ears: The 6-foot, 175-pound McCann wears No. 19 and models his game after Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, according to his draft profile on NHL.com.
With the Predators’ top center, Fisher, edging closer to retirement, a player like Tuch — at least physically at 6-4, 213 — would resemble former Predators center Jason Arnott. Between Poile and Laviolette, the Predators have deep ties to USA Hockey.
(Don’t forget that Seth Jones came out of this program.)
He will play at Boston College. One of his neighbors growing up in Syracuse, N.Y., was former NHL-er Tim Connolly, who is 15 years older.
Nylander is the son of former NHL center Michael Nylander, who totaled 679 points in 920 NHL games with Chicago, Washington, Boston and New York Rangers.
He played with four different teams last season: An elite-league team, a junior team and two second-division teams, one on loan.