While Nashville Predators fans are focused on the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline, which approaches on February 28, and the impending drive to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the long-term picture is worth a look every now and then, too. And for those wondering where the offensive talent up front is every going to come from, the answer might be developing in the ranks of junior hockey.
Follow after the jump for a look at how some of the Preds' prospects are doing, along with your morning dose of hockey news...
The following information was passed along by the Preds' PR staff, and covers the prospects Nashville has within Canadian junior hockey:
|D||Taylor Aronson||12/30/1991||3rd 2010||Portland||WHL||57||5||27||32||62||+34|
|THIS WEEK: 1 gp, 0-2-2, 0 PIMs, +2… A +22 in 12 games since Jan. 18 to move into eighth in the WHL in the category|
|LW||Taylor Beck||05/13/1991||3rd 2009||Guelph||OHL||52||36||42||78||52||+2|
|THIS WEEK: 3 gp, 3-4-7, 0 PIMs, E… 6 points (2g-4a) in 10-4 win over Sault Ste. Marie on Monday, 2 GWG this week|
|T-9th in the OHL in points, 8th in goals and T-15th in assists… T-1st in GWG (8) and T-3rd in PPG (14).|
|D||Ryan Ellis||01/03/1989||1st 2009||Windsor||OHL||47||19||61||80||53||+20|
|THIS WEEK: 4 gp, 1-9-10, 8 PIMs, E… 18pts (2g-16a) in last 7 gms… Has points in 33 of 37 games (16g-55a-71pts)|
|Leads d-men, 7th overall in points… 3rd in OHL in points per game… 1st among d-men, 3rd overall in assists|
|2nd among d-men goals… T-6th in overall power-play assists (24)|
|T-13th in the OHL in points… 7th in power-play assists (21)… 5th in OHL in PPG (1.62)|
|C||Michael Latta||05/25/1991||3rd 2009||Guelph||OHL||57||31||44||75||134||-11|
|THIS WEEK: 3 gp, 2-3-5, 8 PIMs, E… 42 pts (17g-25a) in his last 25 gms… T-14th in OHL points|
|5th in OHL PIMs, T-13th in League points, T-11th in assists and T-14th in power-play assists (19).|
|D||Charles-Olivier Roussel||09/13/1991||2nd 2009||Montreal||QMJHL||49||3||21||24||44||+15|
|THIS WEEK: 3 GP, 0-1-1, 2 PIMs, E|
|LW||Taylor Stefishen||08/15/1990||5th 2008||Prince George||WHL||55||20||34||54||61||+1|
|THIS WEEK: 2 gp, 1-2-3, 2 PIMs, +1… 38 points (16g-22a) in his last 34 games|
|RW||Austin Watson||01/13/1992||1st 2010||Peterborough||OHL||57||28||28||56||40||-34|
|THIS WEEK: 3 gp, 3-2-5, 2 PIMs, -2… 9 goals, 13 points in 9 February games… T-6th in OHL power-play goals (13)|
In particular, Michael Latta and Taylor Beck are both in the top 13 in OHL scoring, joined of course by defenseman Ryan Ellis. Austin Watson seems to be picking up the pace as well after a slow start with the Peterborough Petes, and we'll also want to keep an eye on Taylor Stefishen out there in the WHL.
The Chicago Blackhawks are here on Thursday followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday afternoon, so take the OTF Discount and save money on Nashville Predators tickets on these, or any other home game!
Nashville Predators News
Deflect and Ignore – The Turned Cheek of the NHL | The Predatorial
Marty's fed up, and not willing to watch the Preds keep taking shots like the Shane Doan/Ryan Suter one anymore.
Preds On The Glass: Injured Predators Head to Columbus and Tuesday Tidbits
Buddy's a bit concerned about the inconsistent play the Preds have shown this month. Hey, at least they're not streaking wins and losses, right?
TEAMS SCREW UP NIGHT AT ARENA, INTERNET MOCKS TEAM, FANS SCARRED FOR LIFE
Providing an entertaining atmosphere is a hit-or-miss enterprise at times, and here are some pretty nasty misses.
Paul McCann - Game Night at Nationwide...
Paul warns that the Blue Jackets haven't packed it in just yet.
Predators Focus On Week Ahead - Predlines
Amanda notes how many "4 point games" the Preds have coming up against fellow Western Conference teams vying for playoff position.
Hockey Night in Nashville: The Importance of Two Goaltenders
Robby poses a good question... whether the Preds run the danger of over-working Pekka Rinne heading into the playoffs.
Preds will sit Suter, but not for long - The Tennessean
Predators fans can exhale after getting word that Ryan Suter may just miss one game.
Preds' Sullivan hides face, not feelings | The Tennessean | tennessean.com
Josh Cooper talks with Sully about the difficulty of wearing a full cage for facial protection, something he hasn't done in 20 years.
Predators stuck in standings logjam that shows no signs of easing | Nashville City Paper
Hey, have you heard how tight those Western Conference standings are?
Predators prepared to scramble defense pairs without Suter | Nashville City Paper
David Boclair sums up the uncertainty on the blueline heading into tonight's game.
Around the NHL
Report: Joel Quenneville expected to return to bench on Thursday - Sporting News
Chicago's Coach Q, who has been out due to medical concerns, could return later this week when the Blackhawks come to Nashville.
McKenzie: Trade market as hot as it's been post-lockout
Even a seasoned pro like Bob McKenzie thinks this is a nutty trade season.
Stars get Alex Goligoski for James Neal and Matt Niskanen - The Dallas Morning News
We've got another blockbuster deal taking place well before the Trade Deadline, as Pittsburgh has another scoring winger to perhaps complement Sidney Crosby.
Canucks' Hamhuis evaluates NHL future - The Globe and Mail
Former Predator Dan Hamhuis is coming back from his 3rd career concussion, but a 4th could have him considering retirement.
What do we really know about Bob? (With charts and graphs!) - Broad Street Hockey
Philadelphia fans are wondering how confident they should be in Sergei Bobrovsky, and in here you'll find an interesting comparison with Pekka Rinne.
NHL Trade Deadline 2011: Why Niklas Hagman Was Waived - Matchsticks and Gasoline
An interesting theory here... are the Flames preparing to make a big deal this week by clearing out cap space?
The League of Extraordinary Statisticians: Draft Pick Value - Behind The Net
With draft picks getting sent all over during trade season, it's worth considering just how much value they really provide.
Down Goes Brown: Don Cherry's Hockey Night in Canada contract revealed
Ouch, here's a barb that really stings: "Cherry will be limited to no more than five sick days per year, although Bruin fans know that he'll probably get confused and accidentally use six." Cherry's downfall as a coach was a critical Too Many Men penalty on his Bruins during the 1979 playoffs against Montreal.
590 The Fan - How much will the "Every Game Counts" campaign cost the Blues?
This St. Louis website puts a dollar figure on just how much this "make the playoffs or else" campaign could end up costing the Blues.