The Nashville Predators have rewarded one of their top NHL prospects with a brand-new two-year contact. Also, Carolina Hurricanes’ prospects will have a new home but their head coach is hoping to play the same style of hockey in their new uniforms. Finally, we take a look at a prospect drawing comparisons to one of the best two-way forwards in recent memory.
Trenin Re-Ups with Predators
The Predators announced on Thursday that they have signed forward Yakov Trenin to a new two-year contract worth a total of $1.45 million. Nashville drafted the 23-year-old Russian forward in the second round (55th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
After a successful junior career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), Trenin made the jump over the American Hockey League (AHL) for the start of the 2017-18 season. He scored five goals and 16 points in 44 games for the Milwaukee Admirals. He progressed well with 14 goals and 33 points in 74 games the following season.
He had his best professional season in 2019-20. He scored 20 goals and 35 points in 32 games for the Admirals, who had the best record in the AHL when the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He made his NHL debut with the Predators on Oct. 19, 2019, and scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 7, 2019. Overall, Trenin played in 21 NHL games and scored two goals and six points.
Warsofsky Wants to be Tough to Play Against
Whenever the 2020-21 AHL season begins, the Chicago Wolves will be taking the ice in their traditional uniforms, but other than that, everything else will be different. During the offseason, the team switched NHL affiliates from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Hurricanes.
The roster will be changed as it will be know filled with players hopeful to get the call up to Raleigh one day. Behind the bench, Ryan Warsofsky will be the new head coach, replacing Rocky Thompson, who just got his first NHL job with the San Jose Sharks.
Warsofsky is somewhat familiar with the Wolves and the Allstate Arena. It was there, when he was assistant coach, that he and the Charlotte Checkers won the 2019 Calder Cup. As he recently told the Wolves official website, he wants a team that his hard to play against once the puck is dropped.
“Teams are going to leave our building — or we’re going to leave a team after playing in their building — and we want them to leave that building saying, win or lose, ‘Wow, that was a tough team to play against,’” he said.
“That’s going to be something that we pride ourselves on. Ultimately, we’re going to be hard to play against because of how hard we work. We’re going to play with good details and good structure. I think everyone talks about playing fast — that’s kind of the newer style the last 5-6 years. You want to have a lot of skill, but we want to transition quickly and play some offense. You see it now in the Stanley Cup Final: the teams that defend the best give yourselves a chance to win. We’re going to pride ourselves on defending the right way.”
This is music to the ears of Chicago hockey fans. Under Thompson the last three seasons, you could never question the Wolves’ effort on the ice. It certainly sounds like the same can be expected with Warsofsky’s squad.
The young went on to say that development is just as important as winning on a nightly basis. He mentioned a few of the top NHL prospects that will call Chicago home for the time being including defenseman Jake Bean and forwards Morgan Geekie and Steven Lorentz.
Prospect of the Day – Justin Sourdif
We will move to the Western Hockey League (WHL) to check in on Sourdif, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound forward with the Vancouver Giants. He is ranked as the 23rd-best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting heading into the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. THW’s Larry Fisher has him ranked 67th overall and as the 10th best prospect coming out of the WHL.
Related – THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Sourdif scored 26 goals and 54 points in 57 games during his second season with the Giants. He has a skill set that has impressed many scouts. While he isn’t the flashiest offensive player on the ice, he is one of the hardest-working. His restlessness and work ethic stick out right away when you watch him play.
He is one of the best two-way players coming out of the WHL. Sourdif uses his high awareness in the defensive zone to complement his offensive game that includes a very quick shot and excellent playmaking abilities. He has proven to be versatile in Vancouver by playing both at center and on the wing as well as chipping on both the power-play and penalty kill. He isn’t afraid to throw a big hit when needed and never shies away from driving to the net.
Our own Matthew Zator draws a comparison to another tenacious center who had himself quite the NHL career.
Sourdif will be an interesting prospect to follow in the coming seasons. He has all the tools to become an effective two-way center or winger in the NHL. If he can bulk up and stay consistent with his offence, he will eventually be a very valuable piece to a contending team. If all goes well, like Pavel Datsyuk was for the Detroit Red Wings, Sourdif will be just that for the team that ultimately selects him.
At the draft, Sourdif could go anywhere from the early second round to some time in the third. Scouts who want to add a 200-foot player that contribute in all facets of the game may stick their necks out to see him get selected earlier in an earlier round. He will need to add some bulk to his frame and work on his consistency before making the jump to the professional ranks, but that can be said about nearly every player in his age group.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.