The 2023 Nashville Predators Training Camp officially kicks off with media day on Wednesday. Before the team hits the ice at Ford Ice Center Bellevue on Thursday, here’s everything you need to know:
How We Got Here
General Manager Barry Trotz and the Predators front office were busy this summer stockpiling talent through trades, free agency and the 2023 NHL Draft.
Here is a brief summary of all the Preds offseason moves:
- April 16: Kiefer Sherwood, One-Year, $775,000
- April 16: Michael McCarron, One-Year, $775,000
- June 27: Jake Livingstone, Two-Year, Two-Way
- July 1: Cody Glass, Two-Year, $5 Million
- July 1: Alexandre Carrier, One-Year, $2.5 Million
- July 1: Anthony Angello, Two-Year, Two-Way
- June 24: Acquired Alex Galchenyuk from Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Ryan Johansen (Retained 50 percent of Johansen’s two-Year, $8 million average annual value remaining salary; did not sign Galchenyuk, who became an unrestricted free agent on July 1)
- June 30: Placed Matt Duchene on unconditional waivers with the intent to buy out his contract
FREE AGENT ACQUISITIONS
- July 1: Luke Schenn, Three-Year, $8.25 Million
- July 1: Troy Grosenick, One-Year, Two-Way
- July 1: Gustav Nyquist, Two-Year, $6.37 Million
- July 1: Ryan O’Reilly, Four-Year, $18 Million
- July 3: Jasper Weatherby, One-Year, Two-Way
- July 11: Denis Gurianov, One-Year, $850,000
A total of 61 players will attend training camp – 47 are under contract with Nashville; seven are on American Hockey League contracts with the Milwaukee Admirals and seven are participating on a tryout agreement or as an unsigned draft pick. Nashville’s training camp roster will consist of 32 forwards, 21 defensemen and eight goaltenders. CLICK HERE for the 2023 Training Camp roster.
Nashville’s training camp is headlined by six preseason games, including two home contests at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators’ preseason slate includes a road doubleheader against the Florida Panthers and home-and-home series with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. The split-squad doubleheader against Florida is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Amerant Bank Arena with games at 1 p.m. CT and 5 p.m. CT. The Preds will then face off against the Lightning at home on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. CT and on the road on Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. CT. Nashville closes out the preseason slate with a back-to-back against Carolina, hosting the Hurricanes on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. CT before traveling to Raleigh the next night for a 6 p.m. CT start.
The team will also host the Gold Star Showcase, an intrasquad game between Predators players benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, at F&M Bank Arena in Clarksville, Tenn., on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. CT.
Making the Team
By the start of the 2023 season, the Predators will be required to cap their active roster at a maximum of 23 players. In other words, nearly two-thirds of the players on the training camp roster will not make the team out of camp. Expect cuts to start being made following the doubleheader in Florida through the conclusion of the preseason slate in Carolina.
Decisions on Defense
Earlier this summer, we broke down the key components of the Preds defensive corps, both on the left side and the right side. The latter presents an interesting challenge for the hockey operations and coaching staffs this season, with the offseason addition of Luke Schenn creating somewhat of a traffic jam of talent on the right side. Keep an eye on the young, right-shot defensemen during training camp – think Dante Fabbro, Alexandre Carrier, Spencer Stastney and Jake Livingstone – as they battle it out for coveted spots on Nashville’s Opening Night roster.
Options at Forward
This offseason also saw an offensive shake-up, highlighted by the additions of veteran forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Gustav Nyquist to bolster a skilled – albeit inexperienced – forward group. While adding O’Reilly, Nyquist, and Denis Gurianov helps provide leadership and stability for the young players, it also reduces the number of roster spots for the taking – particularly on the wing. This will be an important training camp for wingers like Luke Evangelista, Philip Tomasino, Kiefer Sherwood and Michael McCarron, looking to show they are ready for a full-time NHL workload.
Between the Pipes
Goaltending is the one position that should remain relatively unchanged from last season in Nashville – and for good reason. Behind the formidable one-two punch of Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen, expect to see 2020 first-round pick Yaroslav Askarov getting plenty of work in the crease. Askarov remains one of the top prospects in the Predators system at any position, and with Saros and Lankinen tending the net in Nashville this season, he has the luxury of time to continue developing at his own pace in Milwaukee without being rushed into the NHL.
CLICK HERE for the 2023 Training Camp schedule. All on-ice training camp practice sessions are open to the public and will be held at Ford Ice Center Bellevue unless otherwise noted.