The NHL Draft is fast approaching and the Nashville Predators currently own the 30th overall pick in this year’s draft. Let’s take a quick look at 3 players that the Predators may want to take a look at with this pick.
Kole Lind, C/RW, Kelowna, WHL
Lind was ranked 23rd among North American skaters by Central Scouting. At 6’1”, 185lbs, he has good size and room to fill out. Kole was named to the WHL 2nd All-Star team after leading the Rockets with 30g – 57a in 70 games in the 2016/17 season. He compares himself to Filip Forsberg in his style of play. Here is the scouting report on Kole:
“Very good offensive player with game-breaking ability, strong skater with an extra gear to quickly pull away on the play, NHL shot with a quick release, power-play specialist, precise passer with excellent vision and timing to generate scoring chances.”
With the Preds always looking for big time centers, Lind could be just what they need to bolster the position.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph, D, Charlottetown, QMJHL
Joseph comes in at 27th among North American skaters. He is 6’2”, 163lbs, giving him plenty of room to grow. Joseph posted 6g – 33a this past season. He compares himself to Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Here is the scouting report on Joseph:
“Puck-moving defenseman with very good size and range, makes effective decisions with the puck to find open outlets, good skater with quickness and mobility that will only get better as he gets stronger, good positioning in defensive zone and good compete/battle level, strong ability to distribute the puck on the power play.”
This kid fits the mold of what Nashville has and is constantly on the lookout for in a defensemen. If he continues to grow and improve these abilities he could fit in nicely on this blueline someday.
Matthew Strome, LW, Hamilton, OHL
Matthew already has two brothers who have been drafted into the NHL (Dylan and Ryan). That does not guarantee success, but it is a good start. Strome led Hamilton in goals and points this past season, posting 34g – 28a. He also represented Canada at the 2017 Under-18 World Championships. He is a big kid at 6’4”, 207lbs. He compares himself to Rick Nash.
Here is the scouting report on Strome:
“Strong power offensive game with a natural scorer’s touch and finishing ability, great hands and shot which he gets away quickly and with authority, outscored both older brothers (Ryan and Dylan) in respective OHL rookie seasons, strong game down low in puck battles and in one-on-one play, one of the best in this draft class in puck protection, size and skill make it tough for opponents to check him, smart offensive instincts to always be in the right spot at the right time and is a constant scoring threat.”
Strome is exactly the kind of player the Predators could use. His combination of size and skill is something this team lacks. The hope would be that he could become what we all wanted Colin Wilson to be. If I had a say in it, this is the player I would take.
Let me know what you think.
Follow me on Twitter at danieljones@dj_puckplanet