Lets be honest, David Poile gets what David Poile wants, and midway through the season he traded Seth Jones for an offensive stud named Ryan Johansen on January 7. Many Predators fans (like myself) were surprised that Poile traded away one of Nashville's top young talents. A lot of fans were sad to see Jones go, but Nashville cashed in on a number-one center, which they desperately needed.
The 24-year-old gives the Predators the balance they need on offense. He gives other players on the team a chance to show their talent by placing them in a more comfortable role that creates a smoother offensive flow.
Johansen produced impressive numbers in just over 40 games with the Preds. He had 26 assists, which tied for the second-most assists on the team while netting eight goals. His 11-point playoff performance gives Predators fans just one more thing to look forward to when it comes to the young centerman. With teammates like Filip Forsberg, Mike Fisher, James Neal, Craig Smith, and the addition of P.K. Subban this team has quickly become a Stanley Cup contender.
Best Moment Of The Season
Just 2:35 into his first game in a Nashville sweater, Johansen lit the lamp on what was his first shot with the team. He stood at the right shoulder of Semyon Varlamov while making the decision to shoot or pass it to Neal in the slot. Within seconds he fired a wrister over Varlamov's right shoulder which quickly silenced the Colorado crowd. If you blinked you would've missed this beautiful flick of the wrist by Johansen.
Worst Moment Of The Season
There wasn’t a specific moment during the season that made you shake your head. Johansen went through a stretch with the Predators where he didn’t produce the way fans anticipated. When a player doesn't have a specific "worst moment" during the season it's always positive.
He went 14 games without a goal February 6 through March 5 and also recorded just two points during an 11-game stretch between February 12 and March 3.
Trending Up Or Down?
It's impressive for any player to score 34 points in 42 games. It's even more impressive with new teammates, coaches, and a new system. It takes time for a player to completely gel with a new team after being traded midway through the season. His production will continue to trend up as Johansen becomes more comfortable with his surroundings in Nashville.
Final Grade: A-
Johansen has blossomed into one of NHL's top players. His game will progress during his time with the Predators as he brings an offensive edge that the organization has been lacking.