Before training camp opens on Sep. 17, the Nashville Predators rookies had an opportunity to show management and coaches what they can bring to the table at the Tampa Bay Lightning Rookie Tournament in Estero, Florida. In addition to the Predators and Lightning, the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals participated, too. Nashville ended the tournament with a 2-1-0 record, losing to Tampa Bay 5-1 in the opening game and defeating Florida and Washington 5-2 and 4-2, respectively.
Going into the tournament, the big names to watch for the Predators were Viktor Arvidsson, Kevin Fiala and Juuse Saros, and they each had impressive outings. Arvidsson led the team in scoring with a goal and three assists, Fiala tallied two goals and an assist and Saros allowed just five goals in 131:44 of time in net and notched a .935 save-percentage.
(2/2) #Preds Stats in Estero: Gortz – G, Murphy – G, Dougherty – A, Saros – 5 GA, .935SV%, Whitney – 4 GA, .692SV%
— Colin Fitts (@FittsTHW) September 16, 2015
Arvidsson led the team statistically, but he was not the best player for the Preds. 2015 second round pick Yakov Trenin was, despite only scoring two goals. Though speed is not a major part in Trenin’s game, he has excellent offensive sense and uses his 6-foot-2, 194-pound frame to possess and protect the puck well. Trenin, 18, is a long-shot to make the NHL club this season, but he has a bright future in the Preds’ organization.
Trenin’s fellow Russian Vladislav Kamenev stood out as well, scoring two goals and an assist. Kamenev suffered an unspecified injury earlier in the summer that prevented him from fully participating at Nashville’s development camp in July. Whatever injury was suffered, it appears to no longer be lingering the Preds’ 2014 second round pick. The 6-foot-3, 176-pound center will play in Milwaukee in 2015-16, marking his first career season in North America.
Goaltender Brandon Whitney, who signed an AHL-deal with Nashville’s AHL-affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals in May, made his only appearance of the tournament in the midst of a 1-1 tie with Tampa Bay at 8:16 of the second period. Whitney disappointingly allowed four goals and had a .692 save-percentage. With Marek Mazanec and Saros logging a majority of the starts in Milwaukee this season, Whitney, 6-foot-5, 194-pounds, is expected to play for the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones.