The Nashville Predators are coming off a playoff exit a
little early to their liking. Moreover, the team lost defenseman Ryan Suter to
Western Conference foe Minnesota.
If that was not enough, general manager David Poile signed star defender Shea
Weber to a lucrative and expensive 14 year contract.
With all that said, the Predators are known to be a decent
drafting team. Jonathon Blum, Martin Erat, David Legwand, Pekka Rinne, and Shea
Weber all have been drafted by the Predators and have worked their way up
through the system.
This past National Hockey League Draft, the Predators
selected a plethora of forwards. Forwards like Colton Sissons, Zach Stepan,
and Jimmy Vesey all have good upside and could crack the lineup eventually.
However, there is another forward that was selected by Nashville
that could become a star in the NHL.
In the third round, Poile selected Portland Winterhawks center
Brendan Leipsic. The Winnipeg
native scored 28 goals and dished out 30 assists.
Leipsic is generously listed a 5-9, but he plays nothing
like his size would indicate.
He hits everything that moves out on the ice. His tenacity
and physicality caught the eye of scouts everywhere. In addition, Leipsic has
great speed and a deceptive nature on the ice.
Obviously, his offensive upside is tremendous. But his
consistency is a major question. Another issue is his tendency to cross the
He needs to know that there is a time and place for physicality
and if he cannot work that out, his pro career will be short.
If Leipsic can put all of his assets together on a daily
basis, he will have a great pro career.
I believe Leipsic could be a solid second line player. I
love his offensive upside and his tenacity. If I had to compare him to a
current player, I would say he plays a lot like Brad Marchand of the Boston
So far this season, Leipsic has three goals and two assists.
Another year in the junior ranks will do him some good. Playing alongside St.
Louis Blues prospect Ty Rattie and up and coming prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand
will inflate his offensive production. Plus it does not hurt that he will
receive passes from Derrick Pouliot and Seth Jones
The Prospect Preview will return Monday. On that edition, NHL
draft hopeful and Quebec Remparts winger Anthony Duclair will be talked about.