Note: This is the final Five-Hole Friday of the season. Now that the playoffs are underway, we’ll be focused on them. Thanks for reading this season!
NHL Award Winners
We’re a few months away from the NHL Awards ceremony, but the votes are already in on these big awards. Here’s my picks:
Vezina - In a very Lightning-heavy award season, Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely take home the Vezina trophy this summer. He has a .925 Sv% over 53 regular season games.
Hart - Nikita Kucherov. There’s really no one else who could take this award. Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid are the likely runners-up.
Masterton - Robin Lehner, hands down.
Norris - Brent Burns seems to perpetually be in the running for the Norris trophy. However, this season’s Norris should go to Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames.
Calder - While Miro Heiskanen has had an incredible first season with Dallas, the Calder will likely go to Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks. He absolutely stunned everyone in his first season, scoring 28 goals and 38 assists in an injury-shortened season. Petterssen can seemingly score from anywhere on the ice.
Lady Byng - In terms of “gentlemanly play,” we will likely see Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers take home this year’s award.
Jack Adams - Barry Trotz. I’m a bit of a Trotz fan. He took the average Islanders and turned them into a legitimate Cup threat without John Tavares.
Selke - This award seems to always go to Patrice Bergeron. He’s one of the best defensive forwards in the league. This season, however, the Selke should go to Ryan O’Reilly. O’Reilly has had a resurgent season in St. Louis. Mark Stone is another Selke contender.
The New Jersey Devils have the first pick in the 2019 NHL Draft for the second time in three years. The Rangers will pick second, and Chicago will pick third. The question remains whether Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko will go first overall. From there, many good names are sure to be selected in the first round.
After a “meh” 2018 Draft (only four picks), the Predators are likely looking forward to this summer. Will they try to draft a specific player or will they simply draft the best available player with their pick? Would you rather Nashville draft a forward, a defender, or a goalie in the first round?
Here’s the 2019 Draft order for the 15 teams that aren’t in the playoffs:
The Road to Nashville
The AHL recently posted a story about something that Preds fans are already familiar with: the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee. Our famous former Admirals include Pekka Rinne, Juuse Saros, Viktor Arvidsson, Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, and Colton Sissons...to name a few.
The Admirals are right in the middle of a playoff push. They won 8 straight games and have points in 9 straight games. They’re comfortably in third place in the AHL Central Division. Predators draft picks like Alexandre Carrier, Eeli Tolvanen, Anthony Richard, Frederic Allard, and Yakov Trenin are part of the solution in Milwaukee after a challenging season and fluctuating lineup.
Eeli Tolvanen has 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 56 games this season. Anthony Richard leads Milwaukee in points with 47 (24 goals, 23 assists). Alexandre Carrier is the highest-scoring Milwaukee defender. He has 35 points (5 goals, 30 assists).
OTF will follow Milwaukee’s playoff progress in the weekly Milwaukee Musings. The Admirals have just two remaining games. They play back-to-back games this weekend, first hosting Grand Rapids on Saturday and then facing off against Rockford on the road.
Veteran Hockey at Ford Ice Center
If you’re interested in seeing an awesome veteran and first responder hockey game tonight, come by Ford Ice Center. Puck drop is at 7:30. The event is free.
7Element brings together veterans and first responders with hockey. This incredible organization has received attention from Predators broadcasting personalities, the Associated Press, The Goalie Guild, and the Predators themselves.
There will be a raffle and some door prizes! Come catch some veterans and first responders play the best game of beer league hockey you’ve EVER seen.
Hey!!!— 7Element (@7Element6) April 11, 2019
Come watch local vets and 1st responders battle it out.
Pssst... you might end up on TV
Puck drop 1930 (7:30PM)#7element #BagChucker @PenaltyBoxRadio @Bag_Chucker @cmace30 @Skillsy75 @justinbbradford pic.twitter.com/bFRIxCPds9