The Predators decided that speed and skill would be the directive from Poile and many think the team had a solid draft. Ben Kerr of Top Shelf Prospects gave the team a B+ for his grade. The Sporting News handed Nashville an A- and praised its ability to unearth late-round gems.
Yahoo Sports wasn’t as kind with its grade as they gave out a C+ as they thought Philip Tomasino’s defensive issues will delay him giving NHL returns. They liked second-rounder Egor Afanasyev but said that he may need to refine his skating.
Puck Prose also gave Nashville a C+ because they weren’t fans of any of the picks after the first two. They also questioned the Subban trade.
2019 Nashville Predators Draft Review
Tomasimo was taken with the 24th pick in the draft and experts have raved about his speed and offensive ability. There were some concerns about his defensive game, but that can be cleaned up with time and coaching.
The Predators need players can provide an offensive spark and the Niagara IceDogs forward can do that. He’ll likely be a couple of seasons away but could be a well-rounded prospect.
His stickhandling and playmaking ability made him the pick for Poile late in the first round.
Second and Third Rounds
Nashville selected Afanasyev with the 45th pick of the draft. Afanasyev is a player that loves going to the net and plays a power game. He will be good for getting tip-ins with a 6-foot-4-inch frame. He looked like a big-time prospect with Muskegon of the USHL.
The Predators got the 34th pick from the Devils as part of the Subban trade but sent it to the Philadelphia Flyers for the 45th and 65th picks. Nashville’s pick at 65 was spent on BCHL’s Alexander Campbell.
The left winger may not be the biggest body, but he’s a solid skater that uses his speed to be a factor. Campbell will be going to Clarkson University and they’ve been an NCAA Tournament team the last two seasons. The Golden Knights have unearthed some gems and developed others like Nico Sturm.
Fourth and Fifth Rounds
Nashville went with defence for both of their fourth-round selections. University of Massachusetts blueliner Marc Del Gaizo went at No. 109 and Russian Semyon Chistyakov was taken at 117.
Del Gaizo was passed over in last year’s draft but did well playing with Hobey Baker winner Cale Makar as the Minutemen made the national title game. He’ll likely be the top defenceman for UMass next season.
Chistyakov was lauded as a value pick for his physical game in his own end. He also has a solid slapshot that could cause problems on the power-play. Nashville has found gems like Mattias Ekholm in the fourth round in the past.
The Predators went goalie with Ethan Haider of the North American Hockey League with pick number 148. Haider will be joining Campell in Upstate New York at Clarkson. Nashville seems set with their goalie position, but he could be another late-round find in net.
Sixth and Seventh Rounds
Poile drew the ire of fans in Vancouver as he called a timeout to select Isak Walther of Sweden at 179. The delay was because the young Swede was not in the registry and had to be entered in manually. He will play for Södertälje in his home country next season.
Nashville’s last pick was spent on Finnish centre Jusso Parssinen at pick No. 210. He can fill any role and displayed speed and vision as a depth player for Finland’s under-18 team.
There wide opinions on how Nashville did with its draft and the experts won’t know for certain until a few years from now. Sure things can fizzle out while late-round picks can bear fruit. The Predators have gotten some of the cornerstones of their franchise in the late rounds. It wouldn’t be surprising if Poile did it again.
ST CATHARINES, ON – OCTOBER 11: Christopher Cameron #5 of the Barrie Colts struggles to contain Philip Tomasino #26 of the Niagara IceDogs during the first period of an OHL game at Meridian Centre on October 11, 2018 in St Catharines, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)