Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Nashville Predators
For the last 15 years (12 with The Hockey News, last year’s via pinch-hitter Cam Robinson) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 16th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
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Gone – Petter Granberg, Mike Fisher, Brandon Bollig, Alexei Emelin, Scott Hartnell, Harry Zolnierczyk
Incoming – Zac Rinaldo, Rocco Grimaldi, Connor Brickley, Filip Pyrochta, Dan Hamhuis
Impact of changes – The Preds already have it made in the shade, with a good deep team. They needed to do nothing and that’s pretty much what they did. This team is deep up front, they boast the best four defensemen in the league, their goalie just won the “best goalie” award (Vezina Trophy), they have a top prospect goalie as their backup, as well as one of the best prospect forwards waiting to join the team. They even added Hamhuis so that even their bottom pairing is solid now. I guess maybe they could…improve their arena hot dogs (can someone from Nashville confirm?) and maybe lower the price of beer?
Nashville was seventh in league scoring and if Filip Forsberg and the rest of their key guys stay healthy this season they will probably move up a notch or two yet.
Ready for full-time – Eeli Tolvanen will make the team, take a healthy run at 60 points and get into the Calder Trophy discussion…is what I would say if this were one of 20 other NHL teams. But this is Nashville, a team with the first two lines pretty much set in stone with additional good players just barely getting into the lineup to play on the third line. The 19-year-old Finn broke all kinds of KHL rookie records last season, made an impact at the Olympics and was a human highlight reel doing it. But on this deep team it may take him half a season to stick regularly and then another month or two just to force his way onto a scoring line. But he won’t be held back for long.
Filip Pyrochta is a 22-year-old Czech defenseman who was never drafted, but was signed by Nashville at the end of the season. It’s doubtful he makes the tea