While we wait for the 2013 NHL Draft, and the ensuing free agent market to open this summer, the Nashville Predators are apparently at work combing the European leagues for more talent. Randy Miller of the Courier-Post brings word that they're competing with the Philadelphia Flyers to win the services of Austrian winger Michael Raffl:
According to Swedish newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar, the Flyers and Nashville Predators are in serious negotiations to sign Michael Raffl, a left wing from Austria who spent the last two seasons in Swedish's second-best league, Hockey Allvenkan.
Raffl was the top scorer this season for Leksand's IF with 24 goals, 22 assists and 46 points in 49 games. This month, the 6-foot, 190-pointer who shoots left played for Austria in the World Championships and impressed scouts with a two-point game against Russia while playing on a line with Buffalo Sabres star winger Thomas Vanek.
Leksands IF happens to be the team on which Filip Forsberg played before coming over to the NHL in April, so perhaps there's a bit of familiarity there that the Predators are interested in building upon. As a player who is six years older than Forsberg, however, his potential as a prospect is more along the lines of being a good AHLer than anything else.
Remember Linus Klasen?
Here he is combining with Forsberg on a nice goal from a few months ago, though: