The Nashville Predators have nabbed one of the top college free agents left on the market, signing defenseman Jake Livingstone to a one-year entry-level contract for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, per a team release.
The 23-year-old defender has been the highlight of Minnesota State’s blueline for the past two seasons, earning CCHA Defenseman of the Year honors and conference tournament championships in back-to-back years. Livingstone will be a restricted free agent in just a few months and will need a new contract.
Livingstone certainly has NHL-ready size at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him report directly to Nashville and earn his first NHL experience down the stretch. With Alexandre Carrier still out with an upper-body injury, there’s a natural place in the lineup for the right-shot Livingstone.
Defensively sound in his own right, Livingstone is also intelligent in transition and makes clean passes to his teammates. He approached the point-per-game threshold with Minnesota State this season, recording eight goals and 27 assists in 39 games, finishing second on the team in scoring.
He becomes the second member of his defense pairing at Minnesota State to put pen to paper on a contract today, joining now-Vancouver Canuck Akito Hirose.
Nashville does not have a particularly deep prospect pool at defense, making this signing impactful for a team looking to retool under a new management regime this offseason.
A Dman. Of course.