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Predators draft: Overagers

In 2015, the Predators went crazy and selected a total of 18 prospects. The prospects selected can be split in four different groups: US College prospects, European prospects, Overagers and finally CHL prospects.

First, interestingly enough, the Predators selected a total of four overagers in the draft (4/18 or 22%). This is not a new strategy for the Predators: "We always look at overagers. They're more developed and they don't have as much of the hype as the draft class so we feel they can be bargains later in the draft" said Nashville's GM Tremblay.

The first overager drafted was Samuel Blais. Blais didn't have a lot of hype in 2014 since he suffered an injury which had him start the year in Midget AAA. He only joined the QMJHL Victoriaville Tigers at the end of the year for a mere 25 games. However, in 2015, Blais exploded and produced at a high rate, posting 82 points in 61 games while being a leader both on the PP and PK. He was impressive compared to 2014 draftable Gabriel Gagné, outscoring him by 23 points despite a birthday only five months apart.

Later on, the Predators selected Fredrik Olofsson. In 2014, Nashville had him on his list as an interesting player with question marks. "He had only 4 goals in 25 games in 2014, so while we liked his play we were a bit reluctant on spending a pick on him" said GM Tremblay. In 2015, Olofsson really blossomed, putting up 27 goals and 33 assists for 60 points in 57 games. At 6'2" and 204 pounds, he has a very good frame to complement his offensive abilities. He is heading to the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2015-16.

In the last round of the draft, Nashville also selected John Nyberg. In 2014, the highest level he played was the Superelit in Sweden which made him hard to project. He is a defenseman with a good frame at 6'3" and plays a good two-way game. In 2015, he was able to hang in the SHL for 17 games where he showed he could handle to play with men.

Lastly, the Predators decided to re-draft Jackson Houck but let Yan-Pavel Laplante go. Nashville elected on keeping Houck on the prospect list for the way he plays the game. He shows a lot of energy, some agitation yet has decent offensive skills. He will probably play another year as an overager in the WHL and then he should try to make the jump to the AHL.