With the draft coming up this week, the Predators are making final preparations for the draft.
Nashville has two high selections, drafting at #3 and #4. In the previous 10 years under the tenure of GM Tremblay, the highest selection by the Predators was made last year at #10. In fact, during the past 10 years, Nashville has selected only twice before pick #15."This goes hand in hand with our current rebuild, finally drafting high in hopes of adding elite talent to our team" says GM Tremblay.
Over the past 10 years, despite selecting later in the draft, the Predators have enjoyed a certain success. From the first draft of GM Tremblay, in 2008, all players selected (8 in total) have played at least 90 games in the NHL, with three players still having success in the league (John Carlson, Jake Allen and Paul Byron). In total, from the 2008 draft to the 2012 draft, a total of twenty drafted players have played at least 100 NHL games.
Still, it is significantly harder to draft top line prospects with later picks. This year, the Predators have 15 picks within the top 100. Even better, six picks are inside the top 50. "We haven't just stacked up the picks for 2018 as we want to spread our picks over a couple of years" says GM Tremblay, showing a list of upcoming draft picks for 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the Predators will have two 1st round selections, four 2nd round selections and their 3rd round selection. In 2020, Nashville currently owns their 1st round pick, then three 2nd round picks followed by two 3rd rounders.
With that many picks for the upcoming draft, the Predators have increased their time and budget preparing for the 2018 draft. "We have a list of around 90 names to choose from when it's our time to select, we have done our homework on over 300 prospects, we are as prepared as ever" says GM Tremblay, eyes puffy from countless hours of watching prospects play.
Who will the Predators select with their #3 or #4 selection? "We have not finalized our list yet, but there is a good pool of talent to select from" answers GM Tremblay while pointing to a list of 10 players. On that list figures the names of the most prominent prospects for this draft: Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Adam Boqvist, Brady Tkachuk, Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson, Quinn Hughes, Oliver Wahlstrom, Jesperi Kotkaniemi.