The Nashville Predators had an up and down 2021 season, finishing just inside the playoff picture in 4th in the Central Division. With 2 more months before the start of the 2021/2022 regular season, the Preds have turned their attention to the NHL Draft and bringing in new prospects to help elevate the team to a deeper playoff run.
Let’s take a look at who the Preds were able to pick up in this year’s draft and how these moves will impact their odds and futures this upcoming season.
Draft Moves and Additions
First off the board for the Predators this year was Center Fyodor Svechkov, a versatile and talented two-way player that many considered to be one of the best in the draft. He is still very young, at just 18 years old, so although many fans and analysts are excited about the pick, we may have to wait a while before we see him have an impact at the NHL level. He does still have plenty of experience competing at a high level on such stages as the U-18 World Championships. So, don’t expect him to be shy or intimidated once he does finally reach the NHL.
The Predators used their other first-round pick (27th overall) to take another forward, LW Zachary L’Heureux. This is another very young player (also 18 years old) who will need some time to grow and mature before he is ready for the NHL. Analysts see this as more of a risky pick – the upside is definitely there, but if things don’t pan out and L’Heureux isn’t able to develop as they hope, they may have very little to show for this first-round selection.
With their next three picks (Round 3, Round 4, and Round 4, respectively) the Preds went all Defense, drafting three defensemen in a row: Anton Olsson (72 overall), Ryan Ufko (115 Overall), and Jack Matier (124 overall). They opted mostly for strong physical players with these three picks, further adding to the team culture of tough, gritty defense.
Opening Game Odds and Analysis
Unfortunately, odds for the opening game of the 2021 NHL season aren’t available yet for the Nashville Predators. Major sports betting apps, including FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, and Caesars, are only publishing opening game lines for the first 6 games being played on Tuesday, October 12, and Wednesday, October 13. The Predators open their season at home vs. Seattle Kraken on Thursday, October 14.
The Seattle Kraken will be an interesting first opponent for the Predators as it will be the first game in franchise history for the Kraken, and little is know about what to expect from them. Common wisdom would have you believe that an expansion team might struggle to find chemistry early on in the season and get off to a slow start. However, if history is any indication, you don’t have to look further than the 2017-2018 Vegas Golden Knights inaugural season to realize that expansion teams can sometimes find their footing very quickly and become a force to be reckoned with throughout the league. For now, we recommend staying away from this one, even when the lines eventually do get published.
Team Futures for 2021 (Via DraftKings)
Despite making the playoffs this past season, the outlook for Nashville in 2021/2022 doesn’t look great, at least in the eyes of the oddsmakers.
In the Central Division, the Preds have the second-longest odds to win the division at (+6,000). That ranks them ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes, who are currently going off at (+30,000).
The picture within the Western Conference doesn’t look much better. The odds are slightly shorter, at (+4,000), implying that the Preds are slightly more likely to win the Western Conference than they are to win the Central Division. Those odds are tied with that of the San Jose Sharks and only rank them ahead of the Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks according to ArizonaCasinos.
Finally, their odds to win the Stanley Cup are (+10,000). It’s safe to say that if you plan on placing a future on the Preds this year, your best bet is to stick to an amount you are willing to part ways with for good.
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