The drafting and developing players is often overlooked but you saw its importance last night. The Predators' two standouts of the night were 4th round steals from 2013 and 2014, respectively. Of course, I'm talking about Juuse Saros and Viktor Arvidsson.
The Predators' scouts have done an absolutely fantastic job in bringing in players over the past few years and those two are a perfect example. Both players were overlooked because people didn't think they had the size to compete in the NHL. Preds scouts, however, had the strong belief that both players had the work ethic, tenacity, skill, and speed to overcome their size and took a chance. You can now see the results.
World Junior Update
Speaking of drafting talent, here is an update on how the Predators' prospects are doing in the World Junior Tournament.
Dante Fabbro has spent most of his time on the third defensive unit for Team Canada and also on the penalty kill. He has 1 assist and 6 shots on goal, being fairly proactive in trying to pinch in from the blue line to get a quick shot off a feed from the forwards. Fabbro will likely play a big role for the Red and White next season, and his relatively minor role right now should be overlooked.
Holding the 13th spot for Team USA, Patrick Harper's role should also be something that is overlooked. He wasn't really expected to make the team in the first place and his ability to get experience against some of the best players in the world is the most important thing. He has gotten some time on the powerplay, which should be a pretty obvious choice for the coaching staff, despite the shear talent and skill team USA has. Harper was able to notch Team USA's first goal of the tournament.
Yakov Trenin has played a very big role for Team Russia. For the most part he has played on their third line at even strength. On the powerplay, however, he has played a net-front role on their top unit because of his size and shot. He has also played on their top penalty kill unit because of his fantastic defensive abilities. What I really like about Trenin is he has 13 shots on goal in 3 games. Although Russia has played a weaker opponent in Latvia, his shear shot volume is fantastic. He also has 1 goal and 1 assist in that time. You go Big Yak...You go...
Catch Team USA taking on Team Canada today at 2:30 p.m.
Nashville Predators News & Notes
Viktor Arvidsson beats Jay Bouwmeester for gorgeous goal (Video)
He walked the Blues defender twice.
NHL Three Stars: Saros, Dell notch first NHL shutouts
No. 1 Star: Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators.
Top-four NHL defencemen are easier to acquire than you think - Sportsnet.ca
The Edmonton Oilers would really like some evidence for this.
Unseasonable warmth, rain may threaten 2017 NHL Winter Classic in St. Louis
I liked Mark Lazerus's idea: move the historic Minnesota-Columbus game outdoors and let Chicago and St Louis duke it out inside somewhere.
NHL -- No signs of outdoor-game fatigue among the pumped Detroit Red Wings as they prepare for the Centennial Classic
For outdoor game fatigue, you'll have to consult the Blackhawks, who've participated in approximately 983427983948 of them.
NHL still searching for Olympic answers
The league is making two different schedules, with and without the Olympic games.
The NHL is trying to have it both ways with fighting, and it's endangering the players | FOX Sports
Is the league sneakily trying to phase fighting out of the game? (Yes.)