After reading the battle of the "I LOVE RADS versus the "I HATE RADS" camps this past week. I have came to the conclusion that the problem is not whether keeping Radulov is a solution to the teams offensive problems. It is the failure of the draft to develop top tier offensive talent. This failure is squarely on David Poile's desk.
This failure is enhanced by the team's focus on defense in its two way player system. With the Rads experiment done in Nashville, Poile has got to do a better job of drafting offensive players. Along with drafting offensive talented players, their skills needed to be developed. This past season, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Sean Couturier and Gabriel Landeskog all 2011 draftee were playing for the team that drafted them this season. It made me think were is our sure thing on the offensive side draftee.
Does Nashville need to make a trade package to move up in the draft. This year Edmonton again has the number one spot. Does Poile package a deal with them? Edmonton needs a goalie. Nashville has two. Anders and a top tier defenseman for the number one spot? Or does Nashville trade three defenseman and a pick for that top spot. Does he shop an offer around with spots 2-5(Columbus, Montreal, New York Islanders and Toronto) to give the team a shot at an offensive sure thing.My analysis of the draft from 07-11 top tier offensive talent goes in the first ten picks.
2008 Nashville has the 7th pick overall and takes Colin Wilson. I have no complaints with Colin other than I wish he was more like Steven Stamkos, #1 overall on the ice. Nashville did have two first round picks that year. The second 1st round pick was a goalie,Chet Pickard. Both Tyler Ennis and Jordan Erble were still on the board when Pickard was chosen. Also Pickard is still tolling in the minors while the seventh round pick Anders Lindback is the backup goalie.
2009 Again a first round pick at number 11, Ryan Ellis is chosen. John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Evander Kane and Brayden Schenn all were chosen before Nashville's turn. Makes me wonder were these players on Nashville's board and were taken before the Predators were on the clock. Kris Krieder and Jacob Jofelson were still on the board when Ellis was chosen. Krieder showed signs late this season that he is about to be an offensive star for the Rangers. The Devils are still waiting on Jofelson to figure it out.
2010 Nashville picks 18th in the first round. Austin Watson was chosen. Both Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin taken picks one and two respectively are on the starting rosters for both teams. In Tyler Seguin case, he was a big part of Bruins winning the Stanley Cup last year. Austin Watson the reviews have been positive on him. His draft report compared him to Ryan Kesler. He still hasn't made it to Milwaukee. So that tells me, he is not ready now but in the future.
It is very apparent that the 2012-13 season must be a coming out party offensively for Nick Spaling, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith. All three need to contribute more on the offensive side to ease the fears some have about this team. An increase on the ice by all three will finally put the Radulov experiment in the past.
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