The third part of this series will focus on the third round selections by the Predators. In total, four selections were made during that round.
Pick #72 – Nando Eggenberger
Consensus ranking: 87
Predators ranking: 42
NHL Selection: ND
Eggenberger is a big winger who played his second season in the NLA, the top men Swiss league. Here against Davos he can be seen scoring the first goal with a net presence.
Good size, goes to the tough areas and has also showed great hands.
Needs to keep his feet moving, lacks skating agility, speed is just average and take better decisions with the puck.
“He’s got size, a heavy shot, and great hands in tight – he’s a real sniper with natural goal scoring touch from the top of the circles in.”
“His release is a strong point and he shows no hesitation when he has the chance to fire.”
“Goes to hard areas with a high compete level. Good skater, but no breakaway or separation speed. Excellent on PK taken away shooting lanes and surfacing body. Responsible defensively.”
Potential – High: 2nd line power forward
Potential – Low: 3rd line power forward… in the NLA
Pick #83 – Riley Stotts
Consensus ranking: 100
Predators ranking: 32
NHL Selection: 83
Stotts had a slow start to his season before getting traded to the Hitmen where he finally blossomed with 41 points in 47 games:
Speedy center that has good vision and playmaking skills to drive offensive play.
Needs to bulk up, can be pushed off the puck too easily.
“Smart and speedy offensive player with the ability to create scoring chances in a hurry. Creates space for himself with his speed.”
“His playmaking skills and vision make him a consistent offensive threat, he can make tough plays through traffic and consistently has his head up when puck-handling.”
“Since mid-season trade his confidence is soaring. He started dominating entire shifts, taking over games, and dictating the pace of play.”
Potential – High: Speedy 2nd line center.
Potential – Low: Tweener call-up from the AHL.
Pick #87 – Eric Florchuk
Consensus ranking: 119
Predators ranking: 34
NHL Selection: 217
Florchuk had a recent growth spurt and it took him some time to get accustomed to his larger frame. Still, it gave him extra speed which helped his game get to another level once he was traded to the Saskatoon Blades, earning 21 points in his last 28 games:
Good frame, nice north-south speed, can handle the puck and really shoot the puck.
Needs to get stronger and improve his consistency as he tends to take nights off.
“Recent growth spurt helped in all the right ways, extending his skating stride to produce a fantastic open ice coasting gear.”
“Real good skill set and a dynamite release and shot - has soft hands and does a good job finding space. Quick hands around the net and the puck seems to find him - has a long stick and a long reach that he uses effectively on both sides of the puck.”
“His ability to finish is elite – although his wristshot could stand a bit more power and accuracy – and his stickhandling is top notch.”
Potential – High: 2nd line center with playmaking and goal scoring
Potential – Low: Inconsistent offensive player that rides the bus between the leagues.
Pick #93 – Paul Cotter
Consensus ranking: 137
Predators ranking: 43
NHL Selection: 115
A personal favorite of mine, Cotter was a rookie in the USHL that improved his game all year long to become one of the top Lincoln players come playoffs time. He plays the game the right way, both being reliable on the ice while getting offensive opportunities:
Well-rounded prospect with no glaring weakness, a plus skater with a good shot and above average stick handling.
Limited offensive creativity may limit his upside.
“Versatile, hard-nosed forward who will have pro appeal because of his well-rounded game and high energy/effort.”
“Cotter possesses an excellent release on his shot and is good at getting pucks on net off the rush and through traffic.”
“With his acceleration – from quick feet and confidence in his edges – he is able to create space and scoring chances, even while working in cramped areas.”
Potential – High: High energy 2nd line center
Potential – Low: High energy 4th line player