The Nashville Predators are clearing a contract slot for next season, placing Niclas Westerholm on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract termination. Westerholm’s current entry-level deal was set to extend through the 2020-21 season, but he will become a free agent should the termination go through tomorrow.
A 22-year old goaltender, Westerholm signed with the Predators in 2018 after playing in Finland’s top league. He stayed overseas for the last two seasons on loan from Nashville and posted an .890 save percentage in 40 games this year. With no obvious path to the NHL with the Predators, Westerholm will likely stay in Europe and continue his development. Technically he will be allowed to sign with another NHL team once his termination is official and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Predators already have 37 contracts on the books for next season (of their allotted 50) and have plenty of players to re-sign. Letting someone like Westerholm go will allow them to add someone else on an entry-level deal that may have a brighter future in the organization.