|5v5 P/60||5v5 SAT%||5v5 SAT% Rel||5v5 SCF%||5v5 ZSO%||5v5 PDO||5v5 TOI/Gm|
You shattered our expectations more than you can possibly imagine. Here we were at the beginning of the year, suggesting that you spend more time in Milwaukee (we couldn't really help it, we still had Trotz on the mind). Then you went and had the best season of any rookie in Predators history, and we are all like
Filip Forsberg exploded in his first full year as an NHL player, leading the team (and league, at times) in some impressive categories like goals, points, 5v5 SAT%, and 5v5 P/90. Almost immediately, it became clear that Forsberg would be an integral player for the season. Though he wasn't initially on the 1st line, when Laviolette finally paired Forsberg with Ribs and Neal, we saw magic. That line would go on to be a force in the league, and while we can't discount Ribeiro and Neal as part of it, it is hard to imagine it without Forsberg. His grace and skill on the puck, his speed up and down the flanks, his shooting, and his other-worldly vision, rounded out a dynamic line that would be one of the best in Predators history.
For most of the year, Forsberg led the Calder Trophy race. Some idiot had to go and write this article and ruin it for everyone, but it remains true that Forsberg was one of the best rookies in what was one of the best rookie classes in recent NHL history (chew on this: Nathan MacKinnon, who finished with 63 points in '13-'14, won the Calder Trophy with 130 of 137 1st place votes. Forsberg finished with 63 points and wasn't a Calder finalist). Forsberg wasn't just one of the best rookies or one of the best Predators forwards this year... he was arguably a top-10 player in the league for most of the year. A lack-luster performance in March bumped him from rookie of the year honors, but it would be foolish to call his year anything but spectacular.
But Forsberg's season wasn't just spectacular on the ice. His presence in the Nashville sports universe exploded just as much as his presence in the league. He quickly became one of the top stories of the Predators season and his rise in popularity among Preds fans was unmatched. Forsberg is a brand now. At least for the next year or so, he will be a face for the franchise to hang up on giant banners outside of 501 Broadway and to sell on t-shirts. Moving forward, he has to be considered a top priority in the same vein as Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne. His impact on the team cannot be understated.
And it doesn't hurt that he is just so damn like-able. From the sweaters to "Yeah" to his All-Star game performance to #PrinceFilip to "The Ballad of Filip Scoresberg" and more... his legend will only continue to grow.
I mean, how do you even choose? There are too many. Here he is breaking rookie records:
That twisted wrist shot from the circle, after peeling off from the boards and getting some space, became a go-to scoring chance for him this year. It was especially deadly on the power-play.
Here he is netting a hat-trick in the playoffs against some team in white.
The Bridge was LOUD after that 2nd goal, but it went nuts when he finished off the hatty.
Here is Forsberg scoring his first NHL All-Star Game goal. Don't blink or you will miss the celebration.
Speaking of celebrations, here is my all-time favorite celebration gif... only Fil can pull this off.
The Road Ahead
Next year is the final year of Forsberg's entry-level contract. At just under $900K, he will be one of the best values in the NHL. But don't rest on your laurels, Poile
Obviously this off-season has the Preds front office preoccupied with Ribeiro, Fisher, Wilson, Smith, etc., but this time next year could be just as important when it comes to roster decisions. Forsberg will be an RFA... not committing to him long term before he reaches UFA status would be a huge mistake.
Pay the man!