32 in 32: The Predators’ top five prospects


NHL.com offers in-depth analysis of each of the 32 teams during the months of September and October. Today, the Nashville Predators.

The eligibility criteria to be part of this ranking, based primarily on long-term potential, are as follows: the player must be 25 years of age or under and have played a maximum of 40 NHL games if they are is a skater, or 20 games if it is a goalie.

32 IN 32 – PREDATORS : Three issues to watch | Analysis for poolers

1. Yaroslav Askarov, G

How was it acquired: Selected with 11th pick in 2020 NHL Draft

Last season: St. Petersburg (KHL): Record of 5-4-0, MBA of 1.21,% ARR. , 951, 1 BL; Neva St. Petersburg (VHL): 2-3-1, MBA 2.12,% ARR. , 923; 1946 St. Petersburg (MHL): 2-0-0, MBA of 0.50,% ARR. , 979, 1 BL.

Askarov played in three different leagues in Russia last season – the Continental Hockey League (KHL), the second division and the junior ranks – and the thing to remember is that he’s been smoking in all calibers, and this, when he was 19 years old only on June 16. He notably stood out with an impressive .951 save percentage in the KHL, as he faced players much older than himself. In doing so, Askarov cemented his status as the NHL’s top prospect in the net.

“We’re very excited about his performance,” Tom Nolan, Predators’ director of amateur scouting, told the team’s website on July 23. “His talent is unique and he has confidence in his means. He will stay [en Russie] for the next couple of years then hopefully he’ll make the jump here. We can’t wait to see him land here and continue to improve. We believe he will become a franchise player. « 

Even though former number one goaltender Pekka Rinne has just retired, the Predators don’t have to rush matters with Askarov, as the transition in net will go smoothly with Juuse saros.

Expected arrival in the NHL: 2023-24

2. Philip tomasino, TO

How was it acquired: Selected with the 24th pick in the 2019 Draft

Last season: Chicago (LAH): 29 GM, 13-19-32

Tomasino is dominant offensively wherever he goes, and it was no different in the American Hockey League last season. The 20-year-old forward finished tied for the lead at Nashville School Club in a caliber he wouldn’t even have been able to compete in under normal circumstances. Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, Tomasino would have returned to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), but the season has been canceled. His performance has not gone unnoticed by the Predators executives, and Tomasino could carve a job this season in the NHL, especially as Nashville has decided to take a youthful turn.

« I consider myself ready to take the leap, but on top of that, I think I can make a big difference within the team [cette saison], so I can’t wait to have this opportunity, ”said the main stakeholder to the Predators website last August.

The fast skater likes to carry the puck and stands out with his silky hands, but he’s not shy about going into dangerous areas and getting his nose dirty to create scoring chances. He has the potential to be one of Nashville’s most dynamic forwards this season and will move to their top-6 before long.

Expected arrival in the NHL: This season

3. Fedor Svechkov, A

How was it acquired: Selected 19th in the 2021 Draft

Last season: Togliatti (VHL): 38 MJ, 5-10-15; Togliatti (MHL): 15 GM, 4-11-15

Svechkov averaged one point per game in the Russian junior ranks last season, and for an 18-year-old he did very well in the second division, scoring 15 points in 38 games. However, it was at the 2021 FIHG Under-18 World Championship that the Predators noticed Svechkov the most, as he finished fourth in scorers for Russia (10 points in seven games), leading them to the silver medal. In Nashville, we really like his concern for doing well on defense, in addition to what he can bring to attack.

« Svechkov is a center player who excels in both directions of the ice, he can produce and play with the best players, » Predators assistant general manager Jeff Kealty told the team’s website after the 2021 Draft. “You can count on him in all situations. « 

Svechkov is expected to rub shoulders with Askarov with St. Petersburg in the KHL this season.

Expected arrival in the NHL: 2023-24

4. David Farrance, D

How was it acquired: Selected with the 92nd pick in the 2017 Draft

Last season: Nashville: 2 MJ, 0-0-0; Boston University (NCAA): 11 GM, 5-11-16

Over the past two seasons, Farrance has recorded 59 points, including 19 goals, in 45 games with Boston University, placing first among all NCAA defensemen in points-per-game average in each of. these campaigns. The Predators signed him to a two-year rookie contract on March 28, and he made his first two career NHL games late in the season, playing more than 22 minutes in his second game.

Farrance has some offensive strengths that will allow him to stand out among the Predators’ defense prospects, but he will still have a lot of competition to carve out a job after training camp.

Expected arrival in the NHL: This season

5. Zachary L’Heureux, A

How was it acquired: Selected with the 27th pick in the 2021 Draft

Last season: Halifax (QMJHL): 33 GM, 19-20-39

The Happy isn’t the most physically imposing (5’11  », 196 pounds), but he plays a lot bigger than his size. The pugnacious 18-year-old striker likes to distribute the shoulder strikes and he has only one speed on the ice: the pedal to the floor. In addition to the energy he brings, he is gifted offensively, so he has everything it takes to get his opponents off their hinges.

“We were very excited about Zachary, and the reason is simple: he brings something different to the ice,” Predators scout Jean-Philippe Glaude told the team’s website after the draft. “He has a unique combination of talent, toughness and character. He’s tough to face and he’s always there for his teammates. « 

Expected arrival in the NHL: 2023-24


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