The Nashville Predators supplemented their NHL/AHL fringe depth on defense yesterday, and they’re doing the same today on offense. The team announced a trio of signings separately on Thursday afternoon, signing Kiefer Sherwood to a one-year, one-way $750K contract, and Mark Jankowski and Cole Smith to one-year, two-way $750K contracts. They also signed former Chicago Blackhawks netminder Kevin Lankinen to a one-year, $1.5MM contract to back up starter Juuse Saros.
Despite Nashville receiving strong play from Connor Ingram in limited regular-season appearances and even turning to him as a starter in the playoffs over David Rittich, the team’s opted to bury him on the depth chart for another season. Lankinen had a rough season with the Blackhawks in 2021-22 after an up-and-down rookie campaign the year prior, finishing the year with an 8-15-6 record, 3.50 goals against average, and .891 save percentage. He’ll look to improve on those numbers (and stay healthy) on a more fortified Nashville team.
Sherwood, Jankowski, and Smith will be charged with playing top AHL roles once again, something they’re getting used to in their careers. Sherwood and Jankowski especially will be strong call-up options in case of injury with decent amounts of NHL experience.