Nashville Predators | Revisiting David Poile’s Drafts

8 minutes read

Not too long ago, I’ve been diving into David Poile’s draft historical past as basic supervisor of the Nashville Predators. Since he’s been the franchise’s solely GM, he’s been on the helm for each draft since 1998. Starting with that first draft, I’m working ahead to the current, with this installment protecting the 2006 Draft. For reference, listed below are the drafts I’ve coated to date:

In whole, the 2006 Draft wasn’t an incredible one. Of the 213 gamers picked, solely 91 reached the NHL. The primary spherical, which was began when the St. Louis Blues took Erik Johnson first total, was superb, with all however three of the gamers reaching the league and 20 enjoying in not less than 100 video games. The primary spherical additionally produced 10 Stanley Cups and one Selke Trophy. As of 2018-19, the 2006 Draft had produced 26 gamers who had performed in not less than 500 regular-season video games, seven who had scored 200 or extra objectives, eight with 500-plus factors, and two goaltenders who had collected not less than 200 wins.

Erik Johnson was drafted first total in 2006. (Bridget Samuels

For the Predators, it was a horrible draft. In truth, relying on how the 2018 Draft pans out, it could possibly be the worst draft in franchise historical past. For starters, they solely had 5 picks, with no first-round choice, the results of them buying and selling it to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Brendan Witt. Of the 5 picks they did have, solely two reached the NHL and neither performed in additional than 55 video games. It was a really terrible draft.

Early Rounds (1-2)

Spherical 2, 56th General – Blake Geoffrion, LW (U.S. Nationwide Improvement Program)

With the Predators’ first choose of the 2006 Draft, Poile drafted winger Blake Geoffrion from the U.S. Nationwide Improvement Program, the place he had 18 objectives and 41 factors in 54 video games his draft season. In deciding on Geoffrion, the Predators have been drafting hockey royalty. His great-grandfather is Corridor-of-Famer and three-time MVP Howie Morenz and his grandfather is Bernie Geoffrion, additionally a Corridor-of-Famer, a one-time MVP, and six-time Stanley Cup winner. Given his lineage, there have been excessive expectations for Blake Geoffrion.

Associated: Howie Morenz – Hockey Royalty

After being drafted, he performed 4 seasons on the College of Wisconsin, successful the Hobey Baker Award in 2010. Earlier than turning professional and making his NHL debut in 2010-11, he performed at one U18 Event and two World Junior Championships. By turning professional, he grew to become the primary fourth-generation participant in league historical past, following within the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

The Predators drafted Blake Geoffrion (proven right here with the Montreal Canadiens) within the second spherical. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities)

He performed nearly all of that season within the AHL, however was enjoying a bigger position within the NHL the next season when the Predators traded him to the Montreal Canadiens in Feb. 2012 as a part of a package deal to accumulate Hal Gill. Geoffrion ended his Predators tenure with 42 video games performed, six objectives, 11 factors, and 1.2 level shares. He cut up the remainder of the season between the Canadiens and their AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Associated: Redrafting the 2006 NHL Draft

He started the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season within the AHL when he suffered a cranium fracture on Nov. 9, 2012. The harm, which required emergency surgical procedure, led to his retirement in July 2013. He ended his NHL enjoying profession with 55 video games performed, eight objectives, 13 factors, and 1.5 level shares. Since retiring, he’s been a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Operations Division, first as a scout, earlier than turning into their AHL affiliate’s assistant basic supervisor in 2016-17. He continued to carry that place in 2018-19.

Missed Alternative: Brad Marchand, LW – Drafted 71st total by the Boston Bruins

The Predators ought to have drafted Brad Marchand. (Picture by Bruce Bennett/Getty Pictures)

The Predators would have been higher served by drafting Brad Marchand, who was drafted 15 spots after Geoffrion. The Bruins drafted him from the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. He turned professional in 2008-09 and reached the NHL in 2009-10 earlier than turning into a full-time participant in 2010-11. As of 2018-19, he’s performed his complete profession in Boston, accumulating 681 video games, 262 objectives, 559 factors, and 77.2 level shares. He’s a four-time 40-goal scorer, a one-time all-star, and helped the Bruins win the 2011 Stanley Cup. He represented Canada at two World Junior Championships, one World Championship, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Center Rounds (Three-5)

Spherical four, 105th General – Niko Snellman, RW (Ilves U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga)

Within the fourth around the Predators drafted Finnish winger Niko Snellman from Finland’s junior league. In his draft season he had 4 objectives and eight factors in 23 video games. He performed the following season with the WHL’s Regina Pats earlier than returning to Finland in 2007-08. The Predators by no means signed him, and he performed his complete profession in Finland. He final performed in Finland’s second-tier league in 2011-12 earlier than retiring at season’s finish.

Missed Alternative: Chad Johnson, G – Drafted 125th total by the Pittsburgh Penguins

Chad Johnson was drafted 20 picks after the Predators took Niko Snellman. (Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports activities)

The Predators ought to have drafted netminder Chad Johnson to back-up Pekka Rinne. The Penguins drafted Johnson 20 picks after the Predators drafted Snellman. Johnson was drafted from the College of Alaska-Fairbanks. The Penguins traded him to the New York Rangers in June 2009, and he turned professional and reached the NHL in 2009-10. As of 2018-19, he was nonetheless within the league, splitting the season between the Blues and Anaheim Geese. He’d performed 9 NHL seasons throughout eight groups. He had appeared in 192 video games and collected a file of 80-72-15, a .907 save proportion (SV%), a 2.73 goals-against common (GAA), and 26.four level shares. He had additionally represented Canada at two World Championships.

Spherical 5, 146th General – Mark Dekanich, G (Colgate College, NCAA)

The Predators did draft a goaltender within the fifth spherical, going with Mark Dekanich from Colgate College. In his draft season, he had a .924 SV% and a 2.29 GAA in 36 appearances. He performed two extra school seasons earlier than the Predators signed him and he turned professional in 2008-09 with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. He largely performed within the AHL in 2008-09 and 2009-10, with a stint within the ECHL, earlier than making his NHL debut in 2010-11, enjoying in a single sport. It was the one NHL sport of his profession, delivering an .880 SV% and a Three.60 GAA. He grew to become a free agent in 2011, and performed within the Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets, and Philadelphia Flyers techniques earlier than retiring after the 2017-18 season. He additionally performed the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons within the KHL.

Missed Alternative: Andrew MacDonald, D – Drafted 160th total by the New York Islanders

The Islanders drafted Andrew MacDonald within the sixth spherical of the 2006 Draft. (Icon SMI)

The Predators ought to have drafted defenseman Andrew MacDonald, picked 14 spots later by the Islanders. They drafted him from the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, and he turned professional in 2006-07. He made his NHL debut in 2008-09, and performed for the Islanders till 2013-14, once they traded him to the Flyers in March 2014. As of 2018-19, he was nonetheless with the Flyers, and had performed 11 NHL season with 586 video games, 28 objectives, 161 factors, and 31.Three level shares.

Late Rounds (6-7)

Spherical 6, 176th General – Ryan Flynn, RW (U.S. Nationwide Improvement Program)

The Predators drafted winger Ryan Flynn from the U.S. Nationwide Improvement Program within the sixth spherical. In his draft season, he totaled 16 objectives and 33 factors in 59 video games. He performed the next 4 seasons with the College of Minnesota earlier than turning professional. He performed a part of 2009-10 and all of 2010-11 and 2011-12 with the Admirals. In 2012-13, he left North America to play for Italy’s HC Bolzano. He spent 2013-14 in Finland’s Liiga earlier than retiring at season’s finish, having by no means reached the NHL. Earlier than turning professional he represented the USA at one U18 Event and one World Junior Championship.

Missed Alternative: Mathieu Perreault, C – Drafted 177th total by the Washington Capitals

One spot after the Predators drafted Flynn, the Capitals took Mathieu Perreault from the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He turned professional in 2008-09 and reached the NHL with the Capitals in 2009-10. He performed for them by means of 2012-13 earlier than they traded him to the Geese in Sep. 2013. At season’s finish, the Jets signed him as a free agent, the workforce he remained with in 2018-19. By means of that season he had collected 578 video games, 123 objectives, 309 factors, and 33.6 level shares.

The Capitals drafted Mathieu Perreault one spot after the Predators chosen Ryan Flynn. (BridgetDS/Flickr)

Spherical 7, 206th General – Viktor Sjödin, LW (VIK Hockey Ungdom J20, SuperElit)

Together with his final choose, Poile drafted winger Viktor Sjödin from Sweden’s SuperElit league. In his draft season, he totaled 12 objectives and 17 factors in 31 video games. He performed the following two seasons with the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks. The Predators by no means signed him, and he returned to Sweden in 2007-08. He performed in Sweden till 2013-14, when he completed the season and spent the following three seasons in Australia. He returned to Europe in 2017-18, enjoying within the BeNe League, situated in Belgium and the Netherlands. He spent 2018-19 in that league.

Missed Alternative: None

General Grade: F

Solely getting 56 mixed video games from a complete draft class is unacceptable. There was loads of expertise drafted close to when the Predators made their picks, however Poile and his scouting division merely missed. 

*All stats got here from Hockeydb, Hockey-Reference, and Elite Prospects

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