The Nashville Predators have some defensive issues to worry about with defender Ryan Ellis out for several more months due to knee surgery. However, one issue the team has is a good one as the play of Samuel Girard has impressed everyone. Suddenly, the issue is whether or not to keep him on their roster to start the season.
Girard, a second-round pick in 2016, is just 19 years old, but the gifted offensive defenseman has worked hard to show that he is ready for the NHL now. And with Ellis’ injury, might there be a place for him? The team has used him heavily in the preseason. He has played in all four games, logging more than 20 minutes in each game. According to Adam Vingan of the Tennessean, Girard is making a strong case to stay. His last game on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets with most of their opening-night starters on the ice, Girard played 24:02, second to Roman Josi.
The team is considering keeping him, knowing full well that if they don’t, he’ll return to his junior team and cannot be recalled until after their season is over. The team could also keep him for nine games without burning his first year of his entry-level deal.
- Sam Carchidi of Philly.com writes that the Philadelphia Flyers could get a big break from the St. Louis Blues if their injuries continue to mount. The Flyers, who acquired the Blues 2017 and 2018 first-round picks from St. Louis for Brayden Schenn. They used that 2017 pick on Morgan Frost and were expecting a late first-rounder in next year’s draft. However, with some of the injuries that St. Louis has suffered, it will be Philadelphia that reaps the benefits if the Blues see a drop in the wins column. If it were to turn into a top-10 pick, the Blues would get the pick back. Carchidi writes that would be unlikely, however, as the Blues are still a solid team, but the injuries could improve the chances that their pick will be an even better one.
- Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun writes that at least one of the two Sweedish defensemen pair of Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman are likely to make the team. Both had key moments in Friday’s preseason game and the two little-known blueliners are starting to make a name for themselves. Rosen, 23, is a gifted skater and passing defenseman, coming over from Sweden for the first time, while Borgman, the 2017 SHL Rookie of the Year, is a more physical defensive player.