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Five Takeaways from Training Camp

Assuming you spent your weekend doing something other than re-acclimatizing yourself to the inside of an ice rink, you probably missed the opening training camp action. We’ve got you covered.

Nashville Predators prospects at Ford Ice Center Marya K

1. The fourth line is (probably) set

Watson-Sissons-Salomaki played together like a well oiled machine during the scrimmage, shutting down opposing forwards and moving the puck up the ice, although they didn't have much offensive flair. Austin Watson had a few nifty breaks that you won't see at the NHL level, but it was good to see them separate themselves from the prospects as a whole.

2. The Future of the blue line is bright (and French)

The top four in Nashville is largely set for the foreseeable future, Poile flipping one of them for Connor McDavid notwithstanding, but there is a lot of offensive skill and vision in the system. Alexandre Carrier will make his pro debut in Milwaukee this fall, and Frederick Allard made some good plays during the scrimmage. Combined with Poile’'s promise that the third pairing is wide open for competition during camp, I have a lot of confidence in the direction of this group.

3. Size will not be a problem

Much gets made of the handful of pint-sized players on the roster, and some of the more recent defensive draftees are on the smaller side, but there is a good mix in the pool. Justin Kirkland, who was drafted out of the WHL and will be playing in Milwaukee this year, is absolutely massive. Max Gortz also stands out as a larger forward with some NHL potential.

4. Fiala looks ready

He was constantly creating offense during the scrimmage and looked very sharp during the drills on Saturday, which he largely spent paired with Mike Fisher and James Neal. How effective he will be will depend on who he skates with, but he is very good at finding seams and anticipating the play. If they think he's sound enough defensively, he has every chance of making the opening night roster.

5. This team is going to be fun to watch

The scrimmage was a bit of a snooze-fest, with a weird two period format that only had one goal through forty-five minutes, but there was a lot of speed and skill on display even without most of the players likely to dress for the Preds this season. Laviolette ran two high-paced sessions on Saturday, and James Neal looked raring to go throughout the morning session. Once they get their handful of players back from the World Cup, they'll be well worth the price of admission.