Nashville Predators: Top 10 prospects entering 2018

Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45) (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45) (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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nashville predators
Miroslav Svoboda #1 (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Nashville Predators’ Cup window is wide open. With a terrific defensive core and good center depth, the team should be contenders again this season. Here are ten prospects who will help them stay that way into the future.

The Nashville Predators pride themselves on defense. They’ve gathered a good collection of centers as well. That’s also two areas of strength in terms of prospects for the team. The fact that David Poile has gathered a good collection of both centers and defensemen for right now as well as in the future suggests the Predators have a good future ahead of them. The Predators also have several noteworthy wing prospects.

These prospects are ranked on three equal factors: NHL readiness, ceiling, and the likelihood the prospect plays with the Nashville Predators in the near future. The prospects who do the best in each category will be ranked higher, as well as those who do well across the categories. To qualify, prospects must not have played 25 games in the NHL, and must be Calder eligible.

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Let’s start with the goaltender.

1. Miroslav Svoboda [23] (7-208, 2015)

Stats (HC Plzen, Czech): 47 gp, 2.10 GAA, .926 SV% (10 pgp, 2.25 GAA, .910 SV%).

Miroslav Svoboda was one of the finest goaltenders in the Czech League this past season and at 23 will hope to make a successful transition to North America. With a lack of goaltending talent at the AHL level, the Nashville Predators will hope Svoboda can make that transition as well. While there’s no immediate need for a goaltender, Pekka Rinne will eventually retire. While the assumption is that Juuse Saros will take over the starting role, he’ll need a backup, and that’s potentially where Svoboda comes in.

Svoboda was fifth in save percentage and fourth in goals-against average in the regular season. In the playoffs, amongst goaltenders with more than 10 games, Svoboda was last in save percentage and fourth in goals-against average. That’s not good looking, but the fact that Svoboda carried his team a few rounds deep shows that he has potential.

He’ll need to impress with the Milwaukee Admirals, but he should have the opportunity. While Troy Grosenick could start out as the starting goaltender, if Svoboda outperforms him, he could take the job. Svoboda potentially has a future with the Nashville Predators. At age 29, it’s unlikely that Grosenick does.