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Predators draft: Europeans

Between their 18 picks, the Predators went hard at Europeans in contrast with their usual drafting habits. Nashville spent most of their top picks on Europeans, selecting a total of 5 in the draft (5/18 or 28%). The Predators also spent 4 out of their 5 first picks on Europeans.

With their first pick of the draft, in the second round, the Predators opted to select Alexander Dergachev. A huge center at 6'4", he plays a game suited for the smaller north american rinks. He plays a complete game showing good skills in the offensive zone while being reliable in the defensive zone. In the MHL, he led SKA to a championship with 11 goals in 19 games.While Guryanov is a better scorer, some MHL observers think that Dergachev will become the better NHL player.

Picking a second time in round #2, Nashville's choice was Yakov Trenin. Already playing in NA with the Gatineau Olympiques, his play evolved under Benoit Groulx's guidance. From a skilled offensive player, Trenin adapted his game to become of the best two-way prospects in the CHL. A good puck distributor, Trenin could become even better if he was to start using his wrist snap more often.

In the third round, the Predators picked the NAHL goalie of the year, Matej Tomek. Having a large frame at 6'3", Tomek covers a lot of the net. He also exhibits qualities that are required for pro goalies: he's calm under pressure, he tracks the puck well and reads plays well. His rebound control is also developed as he usually redirects pucks away from danger areas.

Nashville selected yet another European with a late third round pick in Denis Malgin. While he is small and plays in a country not reputed for producing NHLers, Malgin has sublime passing and playmaking ability. As well, he displays an offensive creativity that is usually reserved to players picked at the very beginning of the draft. At his young age, he has already played over 40 games in the top Swiss league (NLA).

Lastly, the Predators once again went euro in the sixth round, selecting a giraffe named Nikita Pavlychev. While posting modest stats in the USHL, with 6 goals and 16 assists in 42 games, this 6'6" centre has a lot of upside. He is still growing into his body and is really raw but could develop his game a bit like the Nashville overage draft pick Fredrik Olofsson.