FanPost

A review on the top 4 forward draft prospects when put into Nashville's system.

1) Nathan Mackinnon (6'0" 185)

He seems to be the most popular draft prospect among the blogs. He brings an all around game with offensive flare. He has been said to potentially be another Steven Stamkos. He has great speed and very good hands, and has a very good hockey IQ. He would be great for Nashville because he potentially provides that number 1 center that Nashville fans have always wanted but never have gotten. He also has a knack for putting the puck in the net which is very needed in Nashville. He is ready to make the jump and make an impact on one of the top three lines.

2) Jonathan Drouin (5'11" 185)

Drouin has the best offensive skills in the draft. He was named the QMJHL player of the year amassing 105 points this year. He has got great hands and great speed. His major downside is that he needs to improve on the defensive side of the ice before he makes the jump. He is consistently known as the wizard, much like Pavel Datsyuk. Like Datsyuk, he can use those hands to both make room for teammates and feed passes and he can use them to make room for himself and score. He would make up for the hole Erat left as that speedy winger who can be an asset on the boards during the power play. He will be able to open things up for the shots of Forsberg and Weber. It has been said that Nashville struggled this year because of their bad power play and Drouin could provide a good fix to that.

3) Aleksander Barkov (6'3" 205)

Barkov's strength is a very good hockey IQ. He is great on both sides of the puck and can also prove to be a very good center. He brings great size to the Predators up the middle as he is an absolute horse. His skating needs improvement but he makes up for that with his intelligence. He provides very good hands in front of the net as well. He also provides that intelligence in the defensive zone. He does not, however, have the very high offensive upside of Drouin or Mackinnon. He projects to be a Koivu-type player. He would fit great into the Predators system because the centers are required to be very good defensively. As he has played with men all of his life, he will find the jump to the NHL a rather painless one.

4) Valeri Nichushkin (6'4" 200)

Valeri Nichushkin is going to be a very good player, no matter where he ends up. He has great size, very good hands, and very good skating. Watching the highlights, he looks like Rick Nash, using his speed, size, and strength to out muscle and out ride his opponents. He has been compared to both Rick Nash and Jordan Staal. He needs to improve his consistency to reach his full potential. The main thing keeping him out of the top 4, or even top 5, is the dreaded "KHL factor." He has recently signed a contract that will keep him in the KHL for the next one to two seasons. He was, however, recently traded without his knowledge which might make him look more favorably on the NHL. If he didn't have the chance of being a wasted pick, he might beat out Barkov for the number 4 spot. He is basically a Rick Nash mold so he will be able to drive down the wings through the opposition and use that size to battle in the corners and along the boards.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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