Our ranking of the top, young player in the organization rolls on. Though some of the players in Part III don't have as high of ceilings like Thomas Novak, Anthony Richard and co., they're ranked higher due to their "safe" potentials, epitomized by some with their success in both the AHL and NHL.
15) YAKOV TRENIN C, Chelyavinsk, Russia, Gatineau (QMJHL) 6'2'', 194 lbs.
Drafted by Nashville in the 2nd round (55th overall) in 2015.
This past draft the Nashville Predators' scouting staff viewed Yakov Trenin as the best possible option they could net with their second round pick. They went so far as to say he's a first round quality player. The first thing to notice about him is his massive frame, though he has the ability to put on an inch or two and a couple of pounds.
On ice, Trenin has incredible smarts and playmaking ability, with developing hands and defensive reliability. His skating and shot are still a work in progress, but those are things he can develop as time goes on. This past year was only his first in North American, and he still put up over a point-per-game. He's a prospect that could develop safely into a middle-six player, though he has the potential to develop into a number one guy.
14) GABRIEL BOURQUE LW, Rimouski, Quebec, Nashville (NHL) 5'10", 192 lbs.
Drafted by Nashville in the 5th round (132nd overall) in 2009
Bourque's combination of grit, speed, low center of gravity, and defensive abilities makes him a great forechecking forward in the bottom six. Bourque is a fixture on the penalty kill and has averaged in the mid teens in points throughout his career. He will probably remain a fourth line player throughout his career.
13) MIIKKA SALOMAKI RW/LW, Raahe, Finland, Milwaukee (AHL) 5'11", 198 lbs.
Drafted by Nashville in the 2nd round (52nd overall) in 2011
Salomaki was recently called the fourth-best two-way prospect in the NHL by Hockey’s Future. His work ethic is one of the best in the organization and his offensive game is complemented by his grit, grind and big-time hitting. In 2014-2015 he played in all situations for the Admirals and made his NHL debut for Nashville, where he recorded his first goal.
Come training camp, he'll be one of the young forwards trying to shimmy onto the Preds' main roster. However, his chance of sticking with the big club to start are minimal. With a return to Milwaukee likely and one year left on his contract, he needs to make some headway towards making it to the NHL. If he can't do so in the next couple of seasons he could very well find himself back in Europe.
12) MAREK MAZANEC G, Pisek, Czech Republic, Milwaukee (AHL) 6'4", 187 lbs.
Drafted by Nashville in the 6th round (179th overall) in 2012
With the departure of Magnus Hellberg, goaltender Marek Mazanec has become the clear number three in the Predators depth chart. (Though Finnish phenom Juuse Saros could have something to say about that come this fall.) Mazanec had an up and down season this past year, but that can partially be attributed to the Milwaukee Admirals team in from of him having its fair share of faults as well.
Next season, Mazanec needs to prove he can make the jump to the NHL as a backup goalie and take Carter Hutton's place. If he can't make that jump hey may not be re-signed paving the way for the Saros show in Milwaukee. Somewhat awkward in style yet highly athletic, Mazanec could very well find himself in a backup role in the NHL one day. However, a starter's role would be not completely out of the question considering the flashes he has shown in the NHL.
11) COLTON SISSONS C/RW, Vancouver, British Columbia, Milwaukee (AHL) 6'1", 187 lbs.
Drafted by Nashville in the 2nd round (50th overall) in 2012
Colton Sissons has been the symbol of consistency for the Admirals over the past few seasons, posting consecutive 25 goal, 40+ point seasons while playing in all situations. Just as impressively, he was named an assistant captain for the team at only 20 years old. Likely the number-one center for the Admirals in the 2015-2016 season, the only thing Sissons really has to work on now is being more productive and making it up to the NHL for a few games.
Sissons’ defensive game and detail is already developed and he is starting to taking advantage of his 6’1", 187 pound frame. The only limitation Sissons really has is his offensive game and, while he is definitely productive at the lower levels, it remains to be seen where he'll slot in in the majors. (He'll likely be a bottom six player.) But even with that lower line potential, it seems very likely that the young BC native will one day make it to the NHL.