Sure, there are plenty of blueliners in the Preds system, many of whom have been drafted by the club, but as Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty has said, sometimes it’s wisest to select the best player available. Will that be a defenseman when the time comes?
Nashville is scheduled to pick at No. 55 in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft on Saturday in Florida. Here are five D-men who could potentially end up in a Gold sweater this weekend.
Ryan Pilon – 24th ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-2, 206 pounds – Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL
October 10, 1996 – Prince Albert, SK, CAN
Recorded 52 points in 68 games during the 2014-15 season for the Wheat Kings, before adding 12 points in 19 playoff games to help his club reach the Western Hockey League Championship Series.
Calls winning gold with Canada at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament his most memorable hockey moment.
His uncle, Rich, skated in 631 regular season games over 14 NHL seasons with the Islanders, Rangers and Blues.
From NHL Central Scouting’s John Williams, via NHL.com: “The thing that stands out for me is how well he manages the puck. He’s a very smart player who makes good puck decisions and has real good vision.”
For more on Ryan Pilon, visit his prospect profile page from the NHL Draft hub here.
Brandon Carlo – 25th ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-5, 196 pounds – Tri-City Americans, WHL
November 26, 1996 – Colorado Springs, CO, USA
An assistant captain for Tri-City last season, Carlo tallied 25 points in 63 games.
He represented the United States at the 2015 World Junior Championship, as well as at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, earning a silver medal.
A Colorado native, the D-man grew up idolizing Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman and former Colorado Avalanche skater, Rob Blake and lists “Nashville” as his favorite TV show.
From NHL Central Scouting’s John Williams, via NHL.com: “He’s a really good skater and has great mobility for a player his size. The reach and range are there. He handles the puck well and is one of the best guys I’ve seen this year at being able to pass off the boards to a teammate.”
For more on Brandon Carlo, visit his prospect profile page from the NHL Draft hub here.
Vince Dunn – 32nd ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-0, 187 pounds – Niagara IceDogs, OHL
October 29, 1996 – Lindsay, ON, CAN
Dunn tallied 56 points in 68 games for Niagara in 2014-15, placing sixth among all OHL defenseman in scoring.
The 18-year-old potted four goals in Niagara’s first game of the 2015 OHL Playoffs against Ottawa.
Wears No. 4 in honor of his hockey idol, hall of fame defenseman Bobby Orr.
For more on Vince Dunn, visit his prospect profile page from the NHL Draft Hub here.
Jonas Siegenthaler – 12th ranked European Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-2, 220 pounds – Zurich Lions, Swiss
May 6, 1997 – Zurich, CHE
The Swiss blueliner skated in 41 games for Zurich of the Swiss league in 2014-15, leading the club with 39 penalty minutes and adding three assists.
Represented Switzerland at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship, dishing out four helpers in seven games before being named a tournament all-star.
Part of two championship teams in 2012-13, Siegenthaler helped Zurich’s junior team to the Swiss Elite Jr. A Championship.
For more on Jonas Siegenthaler, visit his prospect profile page from the NHL Draft hub here.
Erik Cernak – 16th ranked European Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-4, 207 pounds – HC Kosice, Slovakia
May 28, 1997 – Kosice, SVK
Cernak recorded 13 points in 43 games with HC Kosice in Slovakia’s top league in 2014-15 and has won back-to-back championships with Kosice in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
He earned a bronze medal representing Slovakia at the 2015 World Junior Championship and was named a Top Three Player on his team at the 2013 and 2014 Under-18 World Championships.
For more on Erik Cernak, visit his prospect profile page from the NHL Draft hub here.