In the weeks leading up to the new season, we'll preview the Nashville Predators on a player-by-player basis, examining their role on the squad and expectations relative to capabilities. So come along for the ride as we look ahead to 2010-11, from Andersson to Wilson. Next up: Ryan Parent.
As training camp looms, its players like Ryan Parent who will temporarily move to the forefront of our minds as battles for the last defensive and forward spots heat up. Parent, 23, was acquired from Philadelphia in June for the rights to unrestricted free agent Dan Hamhuis.
Parent was drafted by the Predators with the 18th pick of the first round in the 2005 draft (Cody Franson and Cal O'Reilly were taken in '05, too), but was traded to the Flyers along with Scottie Upshall for Peter Forsberg shortly before the Trade Deadline in 2007. You have to think that David Poile and Barry Trotz see some potential in Parent, because it's not often that players are given a second chance with the same organization.
After the jump, we'll examine how this shutdown defenseman will fit into Nashville's 2010-11 plans.
Sixth defenseman/penalty killer. If you rate Cody Franson ahead of Parent (which I do - for now), then Ryan slots here. He holds an advantage in the fight for the 6th spot over Alexander Sulzer, Roman Josi, Jonathan Blum, and Aaron Johnson based on his playing experience in Philadelphia. In 4 NHL seasons, he has played 102 (not including 27 playoff contests) games. When the trade went down, we had a word with Geoff Detweiler of SBNation's Flyers blog as to what Parent might provide in a Preds' uniform.
With the Predators' blueline consisting of two superstars and three above-average defensemen, Parent's most important task will be to help resurrect what was a surprisingly poor penalty kill. If his stat line doesn't improve from his tenure as a Flyer, it won't really matter - he's a defensive specialist.
Ryan Parent had 1 goal and 2 assists with the Flyers in 2009, but missed a large chunk of the year to injury. Additionally, he underwent back surgery during the season which probably contributed to his poor playoffs. For more on Parent's 2009-10, check out Broad Street Hockey's report card.
First, I came across this insightful comment from OtF author SLake which may shed some light on Parent's struggles and why he has a good chance to turn things around in Music City:
One of the biggest concerns with Parent is his injuries and especially his lingering back issues. Skating takes a major toll on your lower back and to compensate for injuries, Parent is going to have to work hard to strengthen that area and add muscle to his overall frame to deal with the bigger forwards in the league.
That’s where I think bringing him into Nashville to work with Coach Good (strength and conditioning coach) is ideal looking at the program he developed for and success of Steve Sullivan’s rehabilitation. Going in Parent should have a lot of confidence in Coach Good’s methodology and hopefully will come to Nashville this summer and workout with Steve Sullivan eventually when Sully returns at the end of the year.
I’m not overly concerned with Parent’s back injury as I would be without this knowledge and while it’s certainly far from anything concrete, I’m still gonna look at the bright side here and believe that Parent will return to form and be a productive Nashville Predator.
I certainly don't anticipate Parent lighting the world on fire, or even scoring a goal - but for a team with penalty kill woes, he might prove another savvy move from David Poile. Pencil Parent in for 60-65 games and five points.
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