Central Division 2014-15 Preview: Nashville Predators

NHL
2014-15 NHL season preview: Central Division
Friday September 26th, 2014

• MORE CENTRAL PREVIEWS: Stars | Wild | Blues | Avalanche | Blackhawks | Jets

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Peter

2013-14 RECORD: 38-32-12, 88 points, sixth in Central (missed playoffs)

VITAL SIGNS: 2.61 goals per game (19th); 2.84 goals-against per game (23rd); 19.2 power play pct. (12th); 80.2 penalty kill pct. (25th); shootout record: 2-9 (29th)

NOTABLE ARRIVALS:  LW James Neal, C Olli Jokinen, D Anton Volchenkov, F Derek Roy, C Mike Ribeiro, F=LW Viktor Stalberg,

NOTABLE DEPARTURES: D Michael Del Zotto, RW Patric Hornqvist, C Nick Spaling

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART:

Forwards
Colin Wilson — Mike Ribeiro — James Neal
Matt Cullen — Olli Jokinen — Filip Forsberg
Gabriel Bourque — Derek Roy — Craig Smith
Viktor Stalberg — Paul Gaustad — Eric Nystrom

Defensemen
Roman Josi — Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm — Seth Jones
Anton Volchenkov — Ryan Ellis

Goalies
Pekka Rinne
Carter Hutton

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Predators

• Predators reduce camp roster

PLAYER TO WATCH:

While Ribeiro is an obvious candidate, given his reputation for being erratic and his unceremonious exit from Arizona, Wilson gets the nod here. He was a man among boys during his final season at BU in 2008-09, but has struggled to transition his skills into the same big numbers during his five NHL seasons. (His first 40-point campaign will be his first.) In his sixth go-round, he'll finally have a chance to play in an offensive system with more consistent scorers. It's a big chance for the 24-year-old former first-round pick who will have plenty of motivation: He's in the last of a three-year deal that will see him become an RFA at season's end.

PREDICTION: 90 points; sixth in Central

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