Vainonen, 19, spent his first season with the Kingston Frontenacs in the CHL, and the native of Finland was fourth among defencemen with 22 points. He also was the captain of Finland's team at the 2012 U-18 World Championships.
He was the Predators' sixth selection in the 2012 draft at No. 118 overall in the fourth round.
He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.
— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers