The Coronation: Prince Filip has Arrived

In the first 13 games of the season, Filip Forsberg has been the driving force of each line he's been assigned. On the top line with Ribeiro/Wilson and Neal, Forsberg has taken his game and the Predators offense to heights not seen since the rookie campaign of Alexander Radulov.


Why this hasn't started trending is beyond words.

Filip Forsberg is now the decided leader of rookies this year with 13 points. His +13 (which most know is an archaic stat in the fancy stat era) is 2nd in the entire NHL. His play has elevated the game of every player on the Predators. He is fast, pestering and if he goes into the corner with the puck, he is coming out of that corner with the puck.

Turnovers were an issue with him last year, but from the eye test this season he has improved immensely. In fact, he is rarely knocked off the puck and he has become an amazing takeaway artist. Only two other rookies have more takeaways than Forsberg (Gaudreau and Stone).

Another facet to his game is an uncanny ability to detect when players are coming up from behind to stick lift and pull away the puck. It's as if he has acquired the tools of a seasoned NFL QB that knows when he needs to move up or out of the pocket away from impending danger. In short, his skillset having another year to develop in Milwaukee in the 2013-14 season is paying off dividends for the Predators going forward.

Snubbed Already?

The rookie of the month honors for the month of October went to Tanner Pearson of the Los Angeles Kings. While Pearson's seven goals is impressive, he is also playing on "That 70's Line" with one of the best snipers in the NHL: Jeff Carter. Pearson is also point-less in his last five games. Forsberg has twelve points on the season to Pearson's nine (Forsberg has played one less game). Pearson is also riding a unsustainable shooting % of 30.4. Forsberg also had more blocked shots and takeaways than Pearson which begs the question: what were the voters of Rookie of the Month looking at? Must have been the goals.

The Fancy Stats Don't Lie

Currently, Filip Forsberg is fourth on the Predators roster in On-Ice Corsi and Relative Corsi (19.48 and 16.7 respectively) behind Ellis, Wilson and Ekholm. He starts and finishes on the positive side of the offensive zone, but one worrisome stat that is destined to regress is his PDO, what some consider "puck luck", is an outrageously high at 1145 (the mean is 1000). Forsberg, as mentioned before, is elevating the entire team whenever he is on the ice and the numbers back this up profusely.

Forsberg On Ice: Goals For Per 60 - 6.62 / Goals Against Per 60 - .74

Forsberg Off Ice: Goals For Per 60 - 1.26 / Goals Against Per 60 - 1.54

For Your Consideration:

In the realm of Predators rookies making great first impressions, the high watermark ends with Alexander Radulov who put up eighteen goals and thirty-seven points in his first year with the team. As of this writing, Forsberg is at a PPG pace and with his tenacity and on-ice vision, he'll look to shatter what Radulov did for the Predators in his first year. This may be the first true contender the Predators have had to make a push for the Calder trophy. Question now becomes: do the Predators send down Calle Jarnkrok to marinate in Milwaukee when Fisher returns and will this translate to Jarnkrok being successful next year a la Filip Forsberg?