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It is still too early in the preseason to be talking about final rosters, but one thing is already clear - the Nashville Predators like what they are seeing as the veterans and rookies work together at training camp. 

Last season's training camp seemed more focused on the prospects, especially as General Manager David Poile forecasted a "competitive rebuild" after another disappointing first round playoff exit in 2021. Several young players stepped up in 2021's training camp and earned a place in the Predators lineup. After performing well in that preseason, Phil Tomasino earned a roster spot while Tanner Jeannot, who played only 15 games in 2020-2021, became a regular fixture on a standout third line. 

Despite a prediction to feature the youth, Nashville's veterans ended up stealing much of last season's spotlight. Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene chased personal and franchise scoring records, Roman Josi ended with a career high 96 points, and Ryan Johansen had one of his most dominant seasons. 

Heading into 2022-2023, both seasoned veterans and energetic rookies will be important pieces if the Preds are to prove they are more than a first round playoff team.

Nashville bolstered the veteran pool this offseason by bringing in former Carolina Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter and Bolts defenseman Ryan McDonaugh. Between the two veteran additions, they have twenty-three seasons of NHL experience. Even Niederreiter's time in juniors may benefit the Preds as he played with potential future line mate Ryan Johansen for the Portland Winterhawks. McDonaugh's veteran experience includes winning back to back Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 


The veterans appreciate what the young players bring to training camp and what the rookies could mean to the organization down the road.  

"This team has done an amazing job of drafting and signing guys and finding guys, and you see some of them - a lot of them - in our lineup," Duchene said. "A lot of size, a lot of speed. A lot of skill, so it's good to see."

It's probable that the veteran lines of Duchene/Forsberg/Granlund and Jeannot/Sissons/Trenin stay the same once the season kicks off. Several young players like Jusso Pärssinen and Egor Afanasyev are taking their shot during training camp hoping for a chance to wear Predators gold while 23 year old Cody Glass is working hard to return to NHL play. Phil Tomasino's success shows that Nashville is willing to give the right young player a shot.

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Even with a full season under his belt, 21 year old Phil Tomasino laughs a little at being called a veteran. 


"No, I wouldn't say 'veteran'. Obviously last year I kind of had that first camp experience. I've never had something like that before," Tomasino said. "I know the ropes. It's been tough for sure, but it's been awesome to be a part of it."

Veterans and youth will have another chance to impress the coaching staff in back to back preseason games against Tampa Bay tomorrow and Friday before the team heads to Europe to prepare for the Global Series. 

Related reading: 

The Unfinished Story of Cody Glass

Niederreiter May Be Just What Nashville Needs

Will the Real Matt Duchene Please Stand Up?

Roman Josi Is Set Up for Success

Nashville Predators Prospects Shine at Rookie Camp