It’s time for our annual countdown of the best 25 Nashville Predators players under 25 years old!
This is not only a tradition here at OTF, but is also something that you might see at many other SBNation NHL blogs. The premise is simple: rank the 25 best players who have not yet reached their 25th birthday (as of August 1st, 2018).
Mismash jumps onto the list after a solid rookie collegiate season.
Mismash’s reputation has been fairly well-known since he was drafted. Corey Pronman makes note of this in his notes on the organization:
Mismash had a decent freshman season at North Dakota. He’s a well-rounded, albeit unspectacular, offensive player. Mismash has good puck skills, can make some plays, can skate at a fair level and has a decent shot. He also plays quite hard and has a bit of an edge to his game.
By The Numbers
Mismash spent two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2015 until 2017. In his first season, Mismash finished sixth in the program in scoring with 44 points in 58 games behind the likes of Clayton Keller, Kieffer Bellows, and Adam Fox. In 2016-17, Mismash led the USNTDP in scoring with 61 points in 65 games.
Mismash’s freshman season wasn’t astonishing, but he finished 6th in scoring - among NHL-drafted forwards - nation-wide with 22 points in 38 games. Among those same players, Mismash tied for 9th in total shots on goal (94), 13th in shots on goal per game (2.47), but only 73rd in goals per shot on goal (0.096). His production was generally on power with similarly touted players like Josh Norris and Joey Anderson.
I love that Mismash takes a fair amount of shots and one has to imagine that his low conversion rate could be a product of digging for a lot of rebounds and taking shots in tight. Nevertheless, we’ll want to see him find the net more regularly next season.
Mismash (#16) provides great puck support low in the zone for his defensemen caught behind the net which ultimately leads to a successful breakout. In the offensive zone, he gives good puck support again before driving around a defender for a beautiful assist.
Mismash provides an excellent cut-off on the boards and uses his excellent acceleration to cut right to the middle of the ice for a shot towards the goal. He follows up in good position as the goal is being scored.
Above is a display of the speed Mismash develops as he turns with the puck and the shot he can pull of in certain time and space.
Mismash - like all college players - is unsigned. The organization holds his rights until August 15, 2021 - the August after his projected graduation. My suspicion is he won’t be at North Dakota all four years.
I think Mismash has a legitimate shot of being an everyday NHL player. I wasn’t as convinced when he was drafted, but he showed an understanding and maturity of several aspects of the game this past season. Pronman generally agrees:
You don’t watch him and ever see high-end ability, but he’s average to above-average at a lot of things, with the potential to be a third-line forward.