June 23, 2024

As the Milwaukee Admirals compete in the Calder Cup Playoffs, several Nashville Predators prospects are striving to make an impact and win their first professional championship. Here, we review their performances and what they mean for their chances of joining the Predators’ roster next season.

Zachary L’Heureux
L’Heureux has been a standout during the Admirals’ playoff run, leading the team in goals (six) and points (10). His offensive production, combined with his contributions on both the penalty kill and power play, has been impressive. Following a breakout 2023-24 AHL season, L’Heureux’s current form makes him a strong contender for an opening-day roster spot with the Predators next season.

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Philip Tomasino
After some critical feedback from Predators head coach Andrew Burnette, Tomasino has excelled in the AHL playoffs. He is second on the team with four goals in six games, showcasing relentless energy. Having put up 18 points in 22 games after being sent down late in the season, Tomasino is making a strong case for a second chance on the NHL roster next season, though he will need to maintain his impressive performances.

Fyodor Svechkov
Svechkov has had an excellent playoff run in his first season of North American hockey, scoring 39 points in 57 games and nearly a point per game in the playoffs. At 21, he might spend another season or two in the AHL to adjust further to North American play. As the top center prospect in the Predators’ pipeline, there are high expectations for Svechkov to continue performing well and push for an NHL spot in the coming seasons.

Juuso Pärssinen
Pärssinen has been one of the Admirals’ best players during the playoffs, with seven points in five games. After being sent down halfway through the season, he has been a consistent playmaker, dishing out 24 assists in 41 games. Having played 89 games for the Predators over the past two seasons, this playoff run will be crucial for Pärssinen to make a positive impression on the coaching staff and earn a spot on the opening-day roster next season.

Ryan Ufko
A late-season addition, Ufko surprised many with his offensive contributions, recording six points in nine games before the playoffs. He has shown his playmaking abilities during the playoffs with three assists in six games but has struggled defensively. Ufko may need more time to develop in the AHL before competing for an NHL roster spot.

Joakim Kemell
Kemell has been disappointing in the playoffs, with only two assists and no goals despite a strong regular season with 41 points in 67 games. At 20, Kemell is not expected to push for a roster spot next season but will likely participate in the Predators’ training camp to gain more experience, aiming to become a top-six sniper in the future.

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Yegor Afanasyev
Afanasyev, the Admirals’ top scorer in the regular season with 27 goals, has struggled in the playoffs, posting just two assists in six games. To push for an NHL role next season, Afanasyev needs to demonstrate he can produce in high-pressure situations, which he has yet to do consistently.

Yaroslav Askarov
Askarov’s performance has been the biggest shock. Despite a strong regular season with a .911 save percentage, he struggled in the playoffs, leading to his benching after two games. This marks the second consecutive year he has been benched in the playoffs. Although slated to join the Predators full-time next season, his recent playoff struggles may cause the front office to reconsider his readiness to take on a starting role.

Looking Ahead
As the Admirals continue their playoff run, the performances of Nashville’s prospects provide valuable insights into the future of the Predators’ roster. Some players have exceeded expectations, while others have faced challenges, but overall, the depth and talent in the pipeline remain impressive. The experiences gained during these playoffs will be crucial for their development and will impact the Predators’ roster decisions for the upcoming season.

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