Nashville Predators Top 25 Under 25: Nos. 15 through 11
Rookies report to camp tomorrow, so lets get familiar with the top prospects the Nashville Predators organization has to offer.
We're continuing our look at the best prospects in the organization. Click here for numbers 25-21, and here for 20-16.
15. Jimmy Vesey
Jimmy Vesey had a very solid season for the Harvard Crimson by putting up 22 points in 31 games; which was first on the team. He is a solid two-way player with good scoring ability and hands who likes to drive to the net.
Drafted: 66th overall in 2012.
Potential: If Vesey makes it to the NHL, look for him to be a solid scoring option for the Predators. He's got some good skills but I don't see him being more than a second line player.
What's Next? According to his 2014 development camp interview on the Preds' website, Vesey feels no need to rush to the NHL so I would expect him to stay at Harvard and finish out remaining two years. After that, he will look to make the move to the NHL or AHL depending on how far along he is in his development (he will be 23 by that time.)
14. Jonathan-Ismael Diaby
At 6'3", 220+, Jonathan Diaby is a massive, nasty, defensive defenseman. Along with the physicality, he also has good intelligence, positioning and skating (for a bigger guy). Of note, though, from what I saw in the development camp, he is not the most balanced player which does hurt him in the physicality department. He has shown he has some good offensive ability last season with Victoriaville putting up 9 goals and 19 assists in 38 games during the season and 5 points in 5 games during the playoffs. He is envisioned as the future defensive partner for Seth Jones.
Drafted: 64th overall in 2013.
Potential: Jonathan Diaby will likely be a bottom four defenseman at the most for the Predators at most.
What's Next? Diaby will likely spend 2014-2015 in Milwaukee where he will look to become familiar with a game with such size and speed. There is an outside chance, though, he makes it onto the roster right off the bat.
13. Viktor Arvidsson
After being selected as the SHL rookie of the year two seasons ago, it is a wonder Arvidsson had not been drafted sooner. This past season, however, Arvidsson's 40 points in 50 games during the season and 16 points in 14 games during the playoffs for Skelefteå got him noticed enough by the Predators for them to see fit to draft him in the fourth round.
Overlooked for his 5'9" 170 pound frame, Arvidsson possesses fantastic offensive instincts, a good shot, slick hands, and out-of-this-world creativity as well as good speed, tenacity, backchecking abilities (because of his speed, tenacity and defensive responsibility.) That was definitely on display during training camp when he successfully performed a Crosby-turn spinorama with his stick on top of the puck during the shootout. If he was to make it to the NHL level, he would be one of the most exciting players to watch in the league; not taking productivity into account.
Drafted: 112th overall in 2014.
Potential: Viktor Arvidsson has the potential to be one of the most creative top six forward the Predators have ever possessed and, if everything goes perfectly, there is a chance he could be a very high scoring forward. He was, however, passed over thrice and he was drafted in the fourth round so it is also a distinct possibility his game does not translate to the NHL level and he heads back to Sweden.
What's Next? After signing with the Predators this offseason, Arvidsson will look to make the Predators team out of camp or, if not, he will play in Milwaukee and fill, most likely, a top line role. If Arvidsson makes the team it is because he has the ability to bring scoring that is desperately needed by the Predators but he will have to get used to the North American style of play rather quickly. Either way, I will be keeping a very close eye on this potentially highly potent winger.
12. Magnus Hellberg
At a whopping 6'5", Magnus Hellberg is a big butterfly goaltender who has great poise. After putting up impressive numbers in his first season (2012-2013) with Milwaukee, Hellberg was set back by injuries and semi-poor play this past season. He managed to put up decent numbers in the AHL and was given a "shot" at the NHL level where he played one game, letting in 1 goal.
Drafted: 38th overall in 2011.
Potential: Hellberg is likely going to be a solid backup at the NHL level. You never know with goalies, though, so he could find a way to maximize his frame and become a starting goalie. A bounce back in 2014-2015 could be huge for his future as it could make or break his confidence in his ability in his play on the North American ice surface.
What's Next? Hellberg looked very solid during the rookie camp so I would expect him to at least compete for the backup role with Hutton and Mazanec. If not, he'll spend 2014-2015 splitting time with either of the aforementioned netminders.
11. Taylor Beck
After the 2012-2013 season when Taylor Beck got a shot at the NHL level and was very successful, I think a lot of us expected him to at least spend a little bit more time than he did in Nashville this past season. That was obviously not the case as he had an unfruitful 7 games with the Predators where he put up a goose egg in the points department. He was, however, successful in Milwaukee where he put up 49 points in 65 games. Beck is a prototypical power-forward with great scoring ability. He is not the fastest player in the world and he could use some improvement there but that should not be a huge problem for him at the NHL level.
Drafted: 70th overall in 2009.
Potential: I think Beck will eventually find his way onto an NHL team in some capacity because of his size but he will need to prove that he's capable of successfully bringing the offense he has brought to the AHL at the NHL level in order to find a more permanent place sooner rather than later. His scoring ability could lead him to being a top six forward but at the very least I think he is a third or fourth line checking forward with offensive upside.
What's Next? As of now, Beck has yet to resign with the Predators which could be a result of him questioning whether or not he will get a chance at a spot with the Predators next season or it could be just a question of pay at the AHL level. I think Beck has the ability to spend at least half of the season in the NHL, wherever that may be, through which he will look to find his role in the big leagues.