The Nashville Predators will have the #11 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft on June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So who do the Nashville Predators select with the first round pick? Do they hold onto the pick or trade it away?
I don’t think it would be a bad idea to package the pick with a player to obtain a NHL ready player that could come into the lineup and be an effective top 6 forward this year. Let’s face the facts the two faces of the franchise Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne are not getting any younger and the Nashville Predators after missing the playoffs the last two years should be in a ready to win NOW mode.
If that does not happen and the Predators draft at #11 here are some names that could be called to the stage by David Poile and become part of the Nashville Predators.
- Kasperi Kapanen: Right Wing / 5’10 175 / Kuopio, Finland- Top prospect out of Finland who has tremendous 1-on-1 skills. Kapanen has played in Finland’s elite league as a teenager and shown the ability to compete and have success against players that are bigger and older. Kapanen does lack in size and that will be a challenge for him to adjust to bigger and faster players at the NHL level. Kapanen has a combination of skill and hockey sense that put him among the better forward prospects in his age group.
- Ivan Barbashev: Center-Left Wing / 6’1 185 / Moscow, Russia- Not sure if the Predators would go down this road again after two recent players that do not need mentioning. However if they do Barbashev is said to lead by example and has a high compete level. Barbashev turned down a nice contract offer from the KHL in order to play in North America and be drafted in the top 10 in the NHL draft. Barbashev has a physical side to his game and can make all the shots at an elite level. Barbashev thrives in a high-paced offense which should work wonders under Laviolette system.
-Josh Ho-Sang: Right Wing / 5’11 165 / Thornhill, Ontario, Canada- Ho-Sang has world class speed with elite puck handling skills. Ho-Sang has shot up the draft rankings and now finds himself as a top 10 pick. Ho-Sang seems to want the puck and at times has been labeled a puck hog. Ho-Sang slowed down that desire this past season and he was said to make the whole team better. Ho-Sang has exceptional hand-eye coordination. Credit should be given to the fact that he has also played tennis at an elite level.
-Sonny Milano: Left Wing / 6’0 183 / Massapequa, NY- Milano is a guy who gets under players skin. He plays with grit and has the want to that coaches love. Milano has elite skill puck handling skills and can perform the elite skills at top speed. Milano works well in the open ice and in traffic. This guy has a new offensive minded David Poile losing sleep at night studying this guy and his Youtube.com videos.
-Brendan Perlini: Left Wing / 6’3 205 / Guildford, Great Britain- Perlini has a combination of speed, puck skills, and hockey sense which make him very effective in all areas of the ice. He plays a high puck possession game and thrives when the puck in on his stick. Can take over a game with his size and possession skill. He is unselfish and moves the puck around. Perlini is a big winger who has speed and can score. Slim chance he makes it to #11 but if he does could be a nice replacement for Colin Wilson if he doesn’t work out “again” this year.
The few players above are by all means not the only players available that could possibly make an impact for the Nashville Predators at #11, but are possible targets at that spot in my opinion.
Don’t cringe…. but I will not fall out of my barcalounger later this month if Poile takes the best player available at #11, and it happen to be defenseman Haydn Fleury.