One of the Nashville Predators’ best prospects is about to get his first taste of professional hockey in North America. Nashville today assigned 2022 first-round pick Joakim Kemell to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, per a tweet from the team’s affiliate.
Kemell, a right wing, spent the 2022-23 season on loan from Nashville to JYP in Liiga, the organization where he’s spent his entire junior and professional career so far. His offensive production took a step back from his draft year, though, scoring 15 points in 43 games after scoring 23 in 39 last year.
Things deteriorated for Kemell down the stretch, with his scoring growing more inconsistent as his ice time waned. He had a solid start to the campaign, going on a four-game point streak early on, but he couldn’t replicate his success throughout the season.
Now, he gets a chance to regain some confidence and some scoring touch in Milwaukee. He joins other notable Preds prospects, such as goalie Yaroslav Askarov and forward Egor Afanasyev, as the Admirals continue their stretch run.
It seems that every Preds forward draft pick “takes a step back” in their offensive production. And they think they’re going to draft their way out of this predicament?
Hopefully Trotz can pry some scouts out of the Isles and Caps organizations and change this continual failure at drafting forwards.
Everybody focuses on scouting. But when I see an organization that consistently has draft prospects underperform I wonder if they have issues with their player development group. Guys like us on sights like this tend not to think about it because we don’t really understand player development (I know I don’t) but it’s a bigger part of the picture than we think.
While there could be truth to that, in the case of Kemmel and their 1st round pick from the 2021 draft, neither have been with the Preds organization yet and both have seen their offensive numbers go the wrong way. Maybe the problem is on scouting and development, in which case Trotz needs to do some house cleaning.
The eye test is still really encouraging for Kemell, imo. He looks legit dangerous every time I watch him play.
He can shoot the puck, that’s for sure.
Went off the board a little bit and took this guy with the fourth pick in my keeper league entry draft last year – hope he pans out.