Nashville Predators and defenseman Jake Livingstone accept entry-level contract

Top college defenseman Jake Livingstone turned pro on Wednesday, signing a one-year entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators.

During his three-year career with the Minnesota State Mavericks, Livingstone had 21 goals and 80 points in 111 games. For his efforts in 2022-23, Livingstone won the CCHA Conference Defenseman of the Year award for the second consecutive season.

« Livingstone has good two-way hockey sense and a solid 6-foot-3 frame, » said Daily Faceoff prospect analyst Steven Ellis. “When he wants, Livingstone can absolutely light you up with a punishing shot and he puts significant power behind his shot”

The defender turns 24 next month and has a chance to make an immediate impact for the Predators. « [Because of his age] what you see from him is what you get, but he should have a shot at being a full-time NHLer with Nashville,” Ellis said.

Minnesota State has won back-to-back CCHA Mason Cup Tournament championships and played in its first-ever NCAA title game during Livingstone’s tenure at Mankato, losing to Denver in 2022.

The signing of the valuable college free agent continues a busy final season for general manager David Poile, who is retiring at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

The only general manager in Nashville franchise history, Poile has done everything in his power to ensure the Predators succeed under the leadership of his successor, former longtime Preds coach Barry Trotz.

Poile traded Mattias Ekholm, Mikael Granlund and Tanner Jeannot to the Oilers, Penguins and Lightning, respectively, for a war chest of draft assets that will reset the team’s future.

Despite their fire sell at the deadline, the Predators remarkably find themselves in the thick of the Western Conference wild card race; they are just 3 points behind the division-rival Winnipeg Jets for the final playoff spot with 2 games in hand.

Livingstone will look to contribute to a Nashville defense anchored by superstar captain Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros next season.

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