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Predators Prospects and Musical Up-and-Comers

Time for more music-hockey talk!

Tennessee’s own Isaiah Rashad and Finland’s own Eeli Tolvanen.
| Photos courtesy of Pitchfork and Getty Images

In which I compare some of the most exciting Nashville Predators prospects to songs by some of music’s freshest faces...

(Ranked in order of their potential, according to me)

1. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Finland

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tolvanen is a savvy goal scorer who will be playing in the KHL next year.


“Smile” by Chattanooga rapper, Isaiah Rashad

“Smile showcases Isaiah Rashad’s impeccable flow over a hazy beat. Eeli Tolvanen may not be smiling in the picture above, but hopefully one day he’ll be lighting up the lamp in Smashville, making us all smile. Rashad hails from Chattanooga, TN, so an intermission performance at Bridgestone should certainly happen at some point.

2. Dante Fabbro, D, Canada

2016 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images

Dante Fabbro is a skilled defenseman who played for Boston University last season.


“Y’all Trippin’” by Boston rapper, Michael Christmas

“Y’all Trippin’” is a trumpet-driven rap track. Because Fabbro played his last season at Boston University, I had to go with my favorite emcee out of Boston, Michael Christmas. The title fits Fabbro because his transition to the NHL could prove to be somewhat rough (like Ekholm’s before him), and during this learning period, he might commit many TRIPPING penalties. The connections between hockey and music never stop with me, folks.

3. Vladislav Kamenev, C, Russia

2014 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Vladislav Kamenev is currently a center for the Milwaukee Admirals who has a strong chance of seeing playing time with Nashville this year, despite the Predators’ center depth.


“Sunny Duet” by Chicago rapper, Noname

Noname’s linguistic dexterity can best just about anyone’s flow. The title of her track “Sunny Duet” applies to Kamenev in that Preds fans should hope that Johansen and Kamenev become a “Sunny Duet” of their own as the #1 and #2 centers for the foreseeable future. That setup is a few years away, but Kamenev certainly has the potential to reach a top-6 role.

4. Victor Ejdsell, C, Sweden


5. Emil Pettersson, C, Sweden

Images courtesy of NHL and Admirals Roundtable

The Predators signed Ejdsell and Pettersson in May. Ejdsell looked raw in the Future Stars Game, while Pettersson will need time to adjust to the North American game.


“She Won’t Go Away” and “Is It Too Much to Ask” by Atlanta songwriter, Faye Webster

“She Won’t Go Away” is Atlanta singer-songwriter Faye Webster’s biggest hit to date, and the signing of Victor Ejdsell might prove to be a hit for the Preds as an organization. He was considering the Red Wings and Blackhawks, but after attending a playoff game in Smashville, he chose Nashville. If the signing pans out, that will be a huge moment in Predators history. A coveted free agent saw a chance to win here, and he took that chance.

Ejdsell’s countryman, Pettersson, has quick hands and quick legs, reminiscent of a certain Swedish forward who just signed a 7 year contract. However, his name got lost in the mix during an exciting time in the history of the Predators. Expect him to a be a sneaky good prospect over the next few years like Faye Webster’s “Is It Too Much to Ask” is a sneakily catchy song, driven by steel guitar.

Faye Webster is a member of my favorite rap label, Awful Records. However, her music showcases pure folk songwriting talent.

6. Grant Mismash, C, USA

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Mismash is a tough center who will play his next season at North Dakota. He seems to be a sure bet to be an NHL middle-6 forward, like Craig Smith before him.


“American Boy” by Nashville rock group, Kid Freud

Okay, so Mismash is American, and the song is called “American Boy.” What more do you want from me?

If you like The Strokes, check out all of Kid Freud’s catalog.

7. Tomas Vomacka, G, Czech Republic

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Predators selected another Tomas V. from the Czech Republic. Last time that happened, it worked out very well. If he makes it to the show, he could show more promise than any Preds goaltending prospect in years (except for Juuse).


“Off Dat” Detroit rapper and producer duo, ZGTO

The Vomacka pick came out of nowhere, as I had never heard of the prospect. Similarly, I had never heard anything quite like ZGTO’s debut song, Off Dat. It’s simultaneously laid back and aggressive. That’s the balance a goaltender needs to strike to survive in the NHL. The Preds have an issue with organizational goaltending depth at the moment, and Vomacka could shore up the problem at that position.

ZGTO’s debut album drops in August on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

These are the ramblings of a man who loves both hockey and music. Let me know what songs you like and what prospects get you excited for the future of the Nashville Predators.