The Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals made one of the more surprising moves of April’s trade deadline, in a deal that made virtually no sense for the latter. The Preds managed to snake a high upside forward that had yet to reach the NHL, while surrendering veteran Martin Erat.
While giving up Erat hurt a team struggling for offense at the time, the future outlook now looks much better with the likes of Filip Forsberg in the mix. He was considered a steal when the Caps drafted him at no. 11 overall last summer. He’s now considered even more of a steal after this trade.
The Predators are not a team built around offense. Mostly because they simply haven’t had the offensive talent, and their mid-level guys are unable to succeed in the system currently in place. That could change a bit with a high offensive upside guy like Forsberg now on the roster.
Forsberg appeared in only five games for the Predators during the 2013 season. It was a brief showing, but sets him up for a full time jump next season. He had one assist and a minus-5 rating over that span. Which means he fit right in with a stagnant Predators offensive attack.
In the long term, this isn’t a guy who’s going to continue to be held down on the stat sheet that way. He could stand to pack a little more meat onto his 6’1″ frame, but he’s going to be an offensive force in this league. He can play down around the net and plays well in his own end. But what’s going to make Forsberg the money in this league is his playmaking ability.
Forsberg is a guy that you can pencil into middle of this top six for the next decade. He’s an excellent playmaker and very intelligent with the puck. Not only that, he had an absolutely fantastic shot. It will be interesting to see how the Preds plan to set him up for success, as this kid has a future as an offensive force.
Which means the Predators need to do everything in their power to set him up for success this summer. Perhaps tweak the system a bit, but more importantly, get the necessary offensive talent around him. If not, his development will be hampered greatly.