Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Additions: Ryan McDonagh, Nino Niederreiter, Kevin Lankinen, Zach Sanford, John Leonard, Kiefer Sherwood
Subtractions: David Rittich, Nick Cousins, Matt Benning, Matt Luff, Mathieu Olivier, Philippe Myers, Ben Harpur
The Predators made a bit of a splash this offseason by trading for a former Cup-winning defenseman in McDonagh. He brings a steadiness to the defense, while Niederreiter brings a similar aspect to the forward group. Rittich struggled as the team's backup goaltender last season, but his replacement - -Lankinen - also is coming off a rough season.
Probable For Opener: -None-
Questionable For Opener: Juuse Saros (Ankle), Mark Borowiecki (Undisclosed), John Leonard (Lower Body)
Out To Begin Season: -None-
Out For Season: -None-
The recent news of an ankle injury to starting goalie Juuse Saros is a little alarming, because Nashville is likely to lean on him heavily this season. If the severity is minimal, then the Predators should be ready to roll come the start of the season.
(league ranks in parentheses)
Filip Forsberg - Mikael Granlund - Matt Duchene
Nino Niederreiter - Ryan Johansen - Philip Tomasino
Yakov Trenin - Colton Sissons - Tanner Jeannot
Zach Sanford - Michael McCarron - Eeli Tolvanen
Ryan McDonagh - Roman Josi
Mattias Ekholm - Alex Carrier
Jeremy Lauzon - Dante Fabbro
The Predators project as a well-rounded, mid-tier roster with balance throughout each and every position. Niederreiter brings plenty of flexibility to the lineup, and Tomasino will push Tolvanen for top-six time this season.
On defense, McDonagh becomes an instant top-four staple, leaving Josi free reign for offensive zone creativity. This pushes Fabbro down the lineup, where he becomes a strength as a role player instead of a stretch as a minutes eater.
Snipers: Tanner Jeannot
Playmakers: Philip Tomasino
Volume Shooters: Filip Forsberg
Play-Drivers: Nino Niederreiter
Shutdown Defenders: -None-
Shot Blockers: -None-
Hitters: Tanner Jeannot | Eeli Tolvanen | Jeremy Lauzon | Michael McCarron
Enforcers: Tanner Jeannot | Yakov Trenin | Jeremy Lauzon | Michael McCarron
Penalty Drawers: -None-
PP Specialists: Filip Forsberg | Eeli Tolvanen
PK Specialists: Yakov Trenin
Faceoff Specialists: Colton Sissons | Michael McCarron
Studs: Filip Forsberg, Juuse Saros, Roman Josi
Duds: Ryan Johansen
Other Roster Worthy: Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, Tanner Jeannot
Nashville's fantasy hockey situation is pretty self-explanatory, where Forsberg, Saros, and Josi will be focal points on any roster and Duchene and Granlund are solid compliments as a result.
In leagues that take hits into account, Jeannot provides plenty of value even if his shooting percentage regresses. Johansen always seems to get drafted in redraft leagues, but his role has diminished over the years and he's at a very deep position. His value just isn't there unless he reunites on a line with Forsberg.
2022-2023 PuckLuck Projections
PuckLuck Projection: 94 points
Floor: 79 points Ceiling: 106 points
Projection Data Confidence: 73%
(League Average: 70%)
Stanley Cup: +1500
President's Trophy: +1700
DraftKings Sportsbook Lines:
Stanley Cup: +3500
President's Trophy: +4500
The early projections on the Predators have them as a borderline playoff team, but also a solid value on the division and conference winning futures. A lot will ride on the play of Saros, and if he can carry the team as the workhorse netminder.
Because of this, the Predators should be a nice underdog play early on in the season, as they will face plenty of similarly-rated competition in the Western Conference. Not too many goalies have been better than Saros the last few season, so when in doubt it's safe to lean on the play between the pipes.
Division Projection: 4th
Conference Projection: 9th
League Projection: 17th
The moves the Predators made should improve the club, but they're stuck in a division that sent five teams to the playoffs last season and that has six teams expected to compete for playoff spots this season. Add that on top of an improved Pacific Division to compete with for wild card berths, and it will be a tight battle for postseason action in Nashville this season.
Right now we have them projected as the first team out, so they will likely need injury luck or someone to step up and provide some supplementary scoring in order to ensure that they clinch a spot.