Nashville Predators Rookie Camp begins on September 10th, so to help you get ready we'll walk our way through the prospects, from youngest to oldest.
David Elsner - #61
Born: March 22, 1992 From: Landshut, Germany
Height: 6-0 Weight: 184 Shoots: R
2010-2011 Team: Landshut (Ger.-2)/Landshut Jr. (Ger.-Jr.)/ERC Ingolstadt (Ger.)
Stats: 31 GP, 4G + 1A = 5 Pts, 65 PIM
Drafted: 2010 7th round (194)
Follow after the jump for some background!
Elsner is making the transition from the German leagues to Canadian junior this fall, and here's what Soo Greyhounds GM Kyle Dubas had to say after selecting Elsner in the OHL's Import Draft back in June:
As for Elsner, a seventh-round selection of the NHL's Nashville Predators in 2010, Dubas describes him as "a power forward who can also finish."
The six-foot, 190-pounder has spent the last two seasons playing in the German Bundesliga, a second division professional loop.
During the 2010-2011 season, he produced seven goals and five assists during 40 games split between three teams.
In 12 international contests, competing as part of U-18, U-19 and U-20 teams, the German player netted seven goals and four assists.
"He's been playing against men for the last two years," Dubas said of Elsner, who is expected to challenge for a spot among the Hounds top six forwards. "He's been a point-per-game player against players his own age, but has been an elite agitator and power forward at the professional level."
Dubas spoke of how Elsner was a teammate of former Greyhounds captain Cody Thornton this past season.
Thornton, Dubas said, "raved about Elsner. He called him one of the hardest-hitting guys he'd ever seen."
Dubas also spoke of how his relationship with the Predators helped pave the way toward getting a commitment to report from Elsner.
"Nashville wanted him to come over here and acclimate to the North American game," the Hounds GM said. "They told us that if we drafted him, they'd help deliver him."
Asked if Elsner would likely play just one season here, Dubas said that was the Predators plan.
"We plan to develop him for a year and then hopefully he signs with Nashville," the GM said. "If we only get one year out of him, that's fine. We feel we have a solid stable of younger players."
Arbitrary nickname we'll give him even though he'd probably hate it
"Goc's Heir" - The Predators have had a run of German players in the system, from Robert Dietrich to Alexander Sulzer and Marcel Goc, and now it's up to Elsner to keep the fans in Germantown happy.
OK, I couldn't find any video of David Elsner the hockey player, so this will have to keep you entertained (not at all the same guy, just to be clear!)...
What's at stake
As Jim Diamond noted this summer, Elsner's coming over to the OHL shows a real determination to carve out a pro career here, and his time in Sault Ste. Marie will be as much about getting more comfortable with the English language as it will be about hockey. During Rookie Camp, he'll get the chance to measure himself against players he hopes to join in Milwaukee in 2012-2013.