Nashville Predators Season Review

2018-19 Record (47-29-6) 100 points

Season Recap

The Nashville Predators had another great year continuing their streak of making the playoffs after getting knocked out in the second round by the Winnipeg Jets in seven games in 2017-18. The Predators started the season coming off a poor exit in the playoffs last year; however, David Poile knew what he needed going into this last season. They didn’t make many moves as the team was already built for success. The struggle this year for Nashville came in the form of not having any offensive threat as Kyle Turris was underperforming and their powerplay was one of the worst in the league. These factors contributed to the Predators getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by a fast, young Dallas Stars team.

Season MVP – Viktor Arvidsson

Nashville Predator forward Viktor Arvidsson participating in warm-ups.
Viktor Arvidsson (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)

This should come as no surprise to Predator fans as Viktor Arvidsson deserves season MVP 100%. Arvidsson put up a career-high in goals with 34 while only playing in 58 games due to an upper-body injury on November 10 sidelining him till December 27. He was one of the few shining spots on the team this year as he, both before and after being injured, contributed the most to the team and when he did get hurt you could definitely see the offensive production of the team drop. Arvidsson led the team in goals this year with Filip Forsberg close behind him with 28.

Most Improved Player – Rocco Grimaldi

Nashville Predators forward Rocco Grimaldi takes a shot in warm-ups
Rocco Grimaldi (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)

There was no real standout improvement from any of the Predators’ roster but if I had to choose one it would be Rocco Grimaldi as going into the season no Predator fan expected him to do as well as he did. When Grimaldi joined the team, I knew him as a depth forward who would probably spend most of his time in the American Hockey League (AHL). Little did I know how wrong I would end up being. Grimaldi was a bright spot in the underperforming bottom six. He scored some major goals including a highlight-reel one that nobody expected. He also led all forwards in points in the playoffs where he looked like he was the only player playing with heart on the ice.

Disappointment: Kyle Turris

Nashville Predator forward Kyle Turris skates during warm-ups
Kyle Turris (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)

The Nashville Predators obviously didn’t have the greatest of years but when I have to come up with a player that fits the role of a disappointing player, two come to mind. These two players are Kyle Turris and P.K. Subban but because Subban put up a good number of points the Predators’ disappointment last year was Turris. He didn’t perform like he was expected to, as he only put up 23 points in 55 games. He was injured for some time but you would still like to see a player of his caliber at least put up 35 points as he was playing on the second line. Turris also had little contribution in the playoffs with only one goal and one assist for two points. The Predators are definitely looking for a better season from him.

Highlight of the Year

Rocco Grimaldi’s spinning goal was amazing to watch live and is still incredible to see now.

Current Depth Chart

Nashville Predator depth Chart
Courtesy of CapFriendly.com

Top Three Prospects

1. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, 20 – Eeli Tolvanen made his NHL debut in 2018 towards the end of the season after the KHL season closed where he put up 19 goals, 17 assists, for 36 points in 49 games. These numbers had Predator fans chomping at the bit for him to be signed. However, Tolvanen didn’t perform to expectations when he arrived. He also didn’t play outstanding in the AHL this last season either, but he is still the Predators’ best prospect by a long way and is set to break out this year.

2. Philip Tomasino, C, 18 – The Nashville Predators just recently took Tomasino in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and was a steal at the position they got him at. He led the draft in five-on-five goals and was rated very highly by most scouts projecting him to go around the early teens. These reasons are why I believe that Tomasino is our second-best prospect.

3. Jeremy Davies, D, 22 – When the Predators traded P.K. Subban not many people knew the players that were obtained by the Predators. However, when looking at Davies’ stats he looks like a great prospect especially for being drafted in the seventh round. He had one more point than fellow defenseman prospect Dante Fabbro who is viewed as a top talent who is already NHL ready after playing a few games last year. Davies can make a big impact on the roster within these next two years with our bottom pairing of defenseman being wide open to take.

Players Primed for a Breakout Season

Nashville Predators Forward Filip Forsberg has a laugh with teammates
Filip Forsberg (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)
Nashville Predators Goalie Juuse Saros streches out
Juuse Saros (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)

The Nashville Predators have a few players set for a breakout season, but Juuse Saros and Filip Forsberg are the main two. Saros is definitely set for a one as every year since he’s made his debut he has gotten better and better. Saros is set to be splitting time with Rinne and if Rinne declines hard this year, Saros will be able to carry the load with no issues. Forsberg also is set to have a breakout year not in the sense that he hasn’t had good years, but he will explode this year and I believe that he will put around 80-100 points due to the fact the Predators have brought in new offensive and power-play coaching and with Matt Duchene now aboard.

Key Addition and Departures

Additions

Matt Duchene (Courtesy of Dinur Blum @rabbi_d via Flickr)
  1. Matt Duchene (FA)
  2. Jeremy Davies (Trade)
  3. Daniel Carr (FA)
  4. Steven Santini (Trade)

Departures

  1. P.K. Subban (Trade)
  2. Brian Boyle (FA)
  3. Wayne Simmonds (FA)

Trade Bait

Turris is the main piece of trade bait mainly due to the reasons listed above where he was the Predators’ disappointment of the season. The numbers he put up last year hurt the team a lot in the fact that they were expecting him to put up more than he did. His cap hit is also not small as he has a six million dollar hit for five more years.

Offseason Needs

The Predators have already covered most of their needs as the only main team need they have is to be able to get a consistent powerplay and offensive scoring.

Trending Up or Down?

The Predators have gone up by all means as yes they did lose Subban; however, they got Duchene and they acquired a good prospect in the Subban trade. So when asking whether or not the Predators have gotten better or worse, the only thing they could have done was get better with acquiring Duchene.


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