CapFriendly reports that defenseman Ben Harpur has re-signed with the Nashville Predators on a one-year deal. The contract is one-way in nature and carries an $800,000 cap hit. CapFriendly is also reporting a one-year deal for defender Jeremy Davies – it’s a two-way deal with a $750,000 cap hit, paying him $125,000 at the minor-league level.
Harpur remains an option probably best suited to bounce between the AHL and NHL, but the one-way contract detail would make it seem like the Predators intend to have him up with the big club all year. It’s even more puzzling when you look at the fact that the Predators already have seven NHL-caliber defenders under contract for next season, a situation that likely leaves Matt Benning spending some games in the press box. It is worth noting that Harpur spent the entire season with the Predators last year after injuries took a hit on their blueline, scoring seven points in 34 games. Nashville will still have him in their back pocket next year if injuries strike again.
Davies, a prospect acquired by the team as part of the return for P.K. Subban, saw his first NHL action this season, scoring just one point in 16 games. A seventh-round pick of the Devils in 2016, it does seem like Davies may be able to carve out a pro career for himself. While Davies likely won’t see NHL opportunity again this season unless there are multiple absences on the Nashville blueline, he does have some upside as evidenced by his nine points in nine games with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves last season. If he can continue to hone his offensive instincts in the minors for one more season, Davies may emerge as a legitimate NHL option over the coming years.