Few individuals took advantage of the expansion process like defenseman Kimmo Timonen. Selected late in the 1993 Entry Draft, the 5-10, 194-pounder was labeled as undersized and was left to develop his game in Europe. When the Nashville Predators were stocking their inaugural roster, they took a chance and acquired the then 23-year-old Finn, and that chance paid off handsomely.
Timonen manned the point on the Nashville power play for eight seasons and led the club in average ice time five times. He led team defensemen in scoring six times, was named to three NHL All-Star Games (appearing in two) and wore the captain’s “C” in 2006-07, the club’s most successful regular season yet.
A model of poise and consistency that was as valuable killing penalties as he was running the power play, Timonen remains the Nashville franchise’s all-time leader in games played (573) and assists (222).