The odds weren’t in Nashville’s favor to win the top overall pick in the draft, however they had the same 12.5 percent chance as any of the other seven teams vying for number one. In the end, the New York Rangers will pick first — likely drafting star winger Alexis Laferriere — and the Predators will hold steady at 11.
It’s not a bad position for the Preds to be on, they’ve had a lot of success drafting players at 11 in the draft. Both Kevin Fiala (don’t laugh, it was still a good pick), who is now with the Minnesota Wild, and bearded defenseman Ryan Ellis found their way to the Music City, so the odds aren’t too bad that Nashville will land a decent selection to bolster its cupboard.
Keeping up with the strangeness that’s been 2020, we’ll have to wait until early in October to find out exactly who the Preds pick. It will give the organization time, however, to reflect and think about what piece will fit best for the franchise.
There are obvious selections on defense, with players like the United States National Team Development Program’s Jake Sanderson, Braden Schneider of the Brandon Wheat Kings, and Kaiden Guhle of the Prince Albert Raiders, all able-bodied, young defenseman who could help fill the depleted prospect depth at blue-line for the Predators.
Many early mock drafts have pointed to Nashville potentially picking Anton Lundell, a solid offensively-taleneted center from HIFK in the Liiga — Finland’s top-level hockey league.
Let’s be honest though, would a center or defenseman surprise you? While it wouldn’t surprise me in the least, there are plenty of great options at both of those positions this year to where any selection from that talent pool would be an excellent choice.
Predators general manager David Poile and his entire scouting staff have their work cut out for them already, as they’ll need a solid showing in this year’s draft — one where five of their seven selections are in the first three rounds.