Nashville Predators: Five Players Trending Upwards

Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, Kevin Fiala, Nashville Predators, Pontus Aberg, Top Story

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With his largest chunk of time with the Predators, Watson put together a solid season posting 17 points (five goals and 12 assists). In addition to his offensive contribution, Watson enjoyed delivering 143 bone-crushing hits putting fear in his opponents eyes.

Austin Watson, Flyers vs Predators, Dec. 19, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In his first trip to the playoffs, Watson scored his first playoff goal with a spicy one-timer (with a little help from an opponent’s head). This would ignite Watson’s offensive prowess and help him get three more goals in the Western Conference Final. Who’s to say this won’t carry over to next season?

3. Kevin Fiala

What can you say about Kevin Fiala? This kid just oozes with talent and potential. In his first season with Milwaukee, Fiala had a 20 point season (11 goals and nine assists). He then followed that performance up with an even better one tallying 50 points (18 goals and 32 assists) for the Admirals.

Fiala finally got his chance to log major minutes with the Nashville Predators in the 2016-17 season. He continued his trend and put up 16 points (11 goals and five assists) at the high-level of play in the NHL. Impressively, Fiala had as many shots as players who had played in considerably more games than him.

Fiala’s second playoff appearance with the Predators saw him score two goals, including a beauty of an overtime winner against the Chicago Blackhawks. Sadly, Fiala broke his femur in the following round and his playoffs were cut short. Regardless, Fiala is poised to explode and could do so next season.

4. Pontus Aberg

One of the many Swedes in the Predators’ pocket, Pontus Aberg has had large success with the Admirals thus far with 126 points (72 goals and 54 assists) over three seasons. Worth noting, each year his goal-scoring has increased — a trend that every coach and GM loves to see.

Aberg saw fairly limited time with the Nashville Predators during the 2016-17 regular season. In 15 games, he only managed to get one goal and one assist. While his numbers weren’t that impressive, Aberg got a chance to shine in the playoffs as a result of the Predator’s revolving-door third and fourth lines.

With his chance to impress, Aberg showed up in the later rounds of the playoffs. Scoring two goals, including one game-winner and this filthy goal in the Final, Aberg made everyone see why he could be the next breakout player for the Predators.

5. Frederick Gaudreau

Nashville Predators fans are least likely to know Freddy Gaudreau relative to other names. In Milwaukee, Gaudreau saw success, as many players do, totaling 101 points (44 goals and 57 assists) over three seasons. He also recorded four points in two games played for the Admirals in the playoffs.

Gaudreau didn’t get much playing time in the big leagues in the 2016-17 season. Only playing in nine games, Gaudreau registered a single assist with an average time on ice of 8:40. Needless to say, he likely wasn’t turning any heads with the Predators’ higher ups.

Frederick Gaudreau (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

A string of injuries at the center position late in the playoffs gave Gaudreau a chance. When the Predators were getting smoked in the faceoff dot, Gaudreau came in and turned that around. Not only that, but he had three goals in the Stanley Cup Final shining the light brightly on himself and his future.

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