The ascent of Filip Forsberg continues, as blossoming Predators rookie scores another game-winnner

The difference between this year's powerhouse Nashville Predators and the Preds that missed the playoffs last year? Okay, sure, Pekka Rinne's health is the biggest thing. But the emergence of rookie Filip Forsberg – who scored the game-winner against Edmonton Thursday – as a big-game player isn't all that far behind.
Author:
Publish date:
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Since the Nashville Predators' first season in 1998-99, they've lacked the type of elite young player capable of coming up big at key moments on a regular basis. But with every game rookie left winger Filip Forsberg plays – including the one the 20-year-old Swede played Thursday night against Edmonton – those days appear to be at an end.

Acquired in a trade with Washington for veteran Martin Erat that grows more infamous by the hour, Forsberg did what he had to do in a low-scoring game against the visiting Oilers, scoring the only goal in overtime to give Nashville its third straight win and an impressive 15-5-2 record:

Although Preds goalie Pekka Rinne was the bigger star of the night, making 37 saves for his 15th win and second shutout of the season, Forsberg has been the biggest difference (other than a healthy Rinne) between this year's team and the offensively-challenged squad that cost longtime coach Barry Trotz his job last season. He now has three game-winners on the year – and with 10 goals and 23 points in 22 games thus far, Forsberg must be considered a frontrunner for the NHL's Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie. In fact, considering Forsberg leads the next-best rookie (Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau) by eight points and with one fewer game played, you'd have to say he's the young man to beat for the award.

TOP HEADLINES

Dougie Hamilton
Play

NHL teams Overcome Flat Cap to Make Splashes in Free Agency

NHL teams combined for a series of splashes in free agency, managing to make major moves despite the salary cap staying flat.

Brandon Saad

Blues Sign Saad to Five-Year Contract

The St. Louis Blues added to their revamped forward corps by signing Brandon Saad to a five-year deal.

Corey Perry
Play

Corey Perry Signs Two-Year Deal with Tampa Bay Lightning

Fresh off of a second consecutive loss to the Lightning in the Stanley Cup final, Corey Perry will join the team for a two-year run.