Forsberg Poised For Glory
A summer of change saw Nashville part with the only man they’d ever called ‘Coach’ and give their forward lines a much needed upgrade.
Leading the Central Division with a 2-0-1 record, the Predators head to Winnipeg tonight with renewed vigour under new coach Pete Laviolette.
But the Tennessee organisation’s most notable story this year may not be the change of coach, the arrival of some big(ger) name forwards or the return of Pekka Rinne – but the true arrival of Filip Forsberg in the NHL.
Drafted 11th overall by Washington in 2012, Forberg was traded to Nashville 9 months later as part of the deal that took Martin Erat to the US capital.
He became the third-youngest player (18 years, 244 days) to represent the Predators when he made his debut versus Detroit on April 14, 2013 – but played just 4 further games before the clubs season ended.
A brief, 13 game cameo followed the next season, yielding a goal and 5 points, but the young centre spent much of the season with Milwaukee in the AHL, where he scored 15 goals and 34 points in 47 games for the Admirals.
Now 20, Forsberg has started the new campaign well. Averaging just over 16 minutes per night, he scored his first goal of the season against Dallas last Saturday and has 4 points already this year.
The former Leksands junior has also claimed some power play time, with Nashville happy to give one of their top prospects every chance to impress this season – which they hope will help put him on the path to greater success in the future.
Forsberg’s ceiling is considered to be high, and assuming he comes anywhere close to fulfilling that potential he’ll be a major part of the Predators future, but the short term advantages of these opportunities is that the Swede has to be considered one of the front runners for this years Calder Trophy.
Nashville may have just been awarded the 2016 All Star Game, but it is yet to see one of its players win an individual accolade – despite some phenomenal seasons from Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne.
But Forsberg now has the talent and the opportunity to shine during his rookie season.
Tennessee might not have been a hockey hot bed over the past 16 seasons, but we might just see a new star born their this year.