The Nashville Predators have dipped into the college free agent pool, signing forward Lukas Craggs out of Bowling Green State University to a two-year entry-level contract. Craggs will not return for his senior season, instead jumping into the Predators organization to start his professional career.
Craggs, 22, was actually pursued by several teams after his season came to an end, but isn’t the usual high-scoring college player that end up with NHL contracts at this time of year. While the Illinois native did record 25 points in 35 games, he’s known more for his physical play as he led the NCAA in penalty minutes with 118, the second consecutive season he has tallied more than 100. His overall body of work was enough to get him nominated for the Hobey Baker, though he was not named a finalist.
While Craggs’ offensive upside may be capped, his all-around game may actually lead him to fit in better at the NHL level than some of his contemporaries. While the top scorers may be looking for a chance to contribute in a team’s top-six, Craggs can easily find a way to fit in on the fourth line and use his physical play and energy. The Predators have never been shy to dress a player like that further down their lineup, and seem like a good fit as the organization to develop the Bowling Green forward.