After trading the 122nd overall pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft, the Nashville Predators next chose 146th overall, taking defender Graham Sward from the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.
Sward is another overage player who was eligible for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft by just three days. He stands at 6’2” and just finished his third season with the Chiefs, scoring a career-high ten goals and 43 points in 57 games.
Sward is a strong skater who added power to his backward skating this year and improved his pivot timing against forwards coming off the rush. He’s got good size to take away space in the defensive zone and establishes and controls his gaps well. He’s not a high-end scorer, yet, but his passing skills and vision in transition are underrated. Plus, he frequently served as a power-play quarterback for Spokane with a versatile shooting arsenal.
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com.