It’s been a big few weeks for the Nashville Predators organization and the good news just keeps coming.
With David Poile’s efforts in recent weeks, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus has ranked the Predators sixth on this year’s organizational rankings released this past Sunday.
After plundering this year’s draft class and adding a flurry of free agents, the Predators opened up their developmental camp earlier this week where top prospects Seth Jones, Filip Forsberg and Brendan Leipsic all participated.
Jones was quick to show why he was ranked as the best player in this year’s draft. He was clearly the most gifted and elusive skater on the ice and proved to be very coachable. Also, he officially inked his three-year entry-level deal — he will be wearing the No. 3.
Forsberg made his NHL debut last season but only registered one assist in five games. However, he showed off his soft hands and pristine vision on numerous occasions in his shortened stint. I previously projected that he would play second line minutes, however he’ll have plenty of competition with Patric Hornqvist and Craig Smith all eyeing top-line right wing minutes.
Leipsic, Nashville’s third-round pick in 2012, burst onto the scene last year as he scored 120 points in only 68 games with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, more than doubling his previous season’s total. The 19-year-old has emerged as the Predator’s top prospect at left wing and Barry Trotz is hoping his most recent success will translate nicely to the professional level.
Among other notable participants are Pontus Aberg, Austin Watson and Magnus Hellberg. They are all working with former Predator Scott Nichol, who was recently named new director of player development.