4 Big Questions for the Nashville Predators in 2020-21

Nashville Predators (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Nashville Predators (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Eeli Tolvanen (28)
Eeli Tolvanen (28) /

3. Is 2020-21 the year Eeli Tolvanen finally breaks out?

Nashville Predators fans were steeped in anticipation when their franchise selected forward Eeli Tolvanen with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

After all, the right-winger was projected to go a lot higher in the Draft by a lot of experts, so the general consensus was that the Predators had done incredibly well to take the stud late in the First Round.

However, the organization has treated Tolvanen with kid gloves so far and have seemed hesitant to really unleash arguably their most-talented asset on the NHL, with the 21-year-old appearing in a grand total of just seven NHL regular-season games with two points (1 G, 1 A) since his draft year.

Eeli Tolvanen (11)
Nashville Predators right wing Eeli Tolvanen (11). Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

He has spent the majority of his time in the American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals, where he put up 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points in 63 games in 2019-20, before recording 13 points (5 G, 8 A) in 25 games for Jokerit in the KHL to start the 2020-21 season.

Tolvanen has impressed throughout Training Camp for the Nashville Predators, though, and there is room for him on this roster, either on the second-line with Matt Duchene or perhaps on a new-look third-line with Luke Kunin and maybe veteran Brad Richardson.

But the Predators crave secondary scoring having ranked 16th in Goals For Per Game in 2019-20 (3.07), and Tolvanen can certainly help to spark that with his accurate and deadly shot and release, a weapon that could also prove useful on the power play too.

If Eeli Tolvanen can finally be given enough games to prove himself, then expect the stud winger to run with it and provide the Nashville Predators with yet another potent offensive weapon in 2020-21.