Nashville has no realistic hope of making the playoffs this season, but Predators fans will get a glimpse of the team’s future tonight.
18-year-old forward Filip Forsberg, who the Predators acquired from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Martin Erat, will make his season debut vs the Detroit Red Wings, according to NHL.com. To make matters more interesting, he won’t be eased into the lineup.
Forsberg is projected to play alongside David Legwand and Taylor Beck on Nashville’s first line. He will also be part of Nashville’s top power-play unit.
Forsberg was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. As far as forwards go, only Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov and Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk were claimed ahead of him.
He’s not related to Peter Forsberg, but has tried to model his game after the retired Swedish star. Filip has also drawn some favorable comparisons to Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry.
“You can see the skillset,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “He shoots the puck really hard. You can see he has good mobility for a young guy. .. (He has) great, great potential and that’s always a dangerous word because it means he hasn’t done anything.”
Nothing yet, but the Predators seem more than willing to give Forsberg every opportunity to prove that he can live up to the hype.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.
James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.
Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.
Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.
Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.
It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.