This weekend in Buffalo, the Nashville Predators will look to add the next piece to help them achieve their ultimate goal. The Preds are set to arrive in western New York for the 2016 NHL Draft in possession of the No. 17 overall pick, a selection the Nashville brass hope will one day play an integral role in the lineup.
So who will pull on the Gold jersey when the Predators make their selection on the Draft stage? It’s anyone’s guess for now, but there are some names that could be available when the time comes. Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty has said the club could utilize the strategy of taking the best player available when No. 17 arrives, and he, alongside General Manager David Poile and staff, continue to evaluate their options. Perhaps that player they ultimately choose will be responsible shutting down the opposition.
Here are five defensemen who could hear their name called on June 24, in part three of our three-part series of potential Preds.
Defensemen: Part Three
Jake Bean – Defenseman, 15th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-0, 173 pounds – Calgary, WHL
June 9, 1998 – Calgary, Alberta
While skating for the Calgary Hitmen in 2015-16, finished first among Western Hockey League defensemen with 24 goals and 12 power-play goals in 68 games on his way to earning WHL (East) Second All-Star Team honors.
Has 29 goals and 103 points in 119 career WHL games with Calgary.
Part of Canada’s gold medal squad at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Named to the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Tournament All-Star Team after leading Canada Black with one goal and four points (tied) in five games.
From Director NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr, via NHL.com: "He is poised in all aspects of the game, has an excellent shot and can score from the point or off the rush. He has good playmaking ability and a strong game at the offensive blue line. He's capable of becoming a game-breaker."
His father, John Bean, is the chief operating officer for the Calgary Flames.
Lists ‘Closing Time’ by Semisonic as his go-to karaoke song.
Dante Fabbro – Defenseman, 18th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-0, 189 pounds – Penticton, BCHL
June 20, 1998 – Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Named the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Top Defenseman in 2015-16, leading all British Columbia Hockey League blueliners with 67 points in 45 games. Led defensemen in points per game (1.49) and finished second in both goals and assists to help Penticton finish with the BCHL’s top regular-season record.
Set up the gold medal-winning goal for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in 2015. Won gold with Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Led all defensemen with eight assists at the 2016 Under-18 World Championship.
Committed to Boston University for the fall of 2016.
Lists the Nashville Predators as his favorite team and says he models his game after Preds Captain Shea Weber, via a Yahoo report.
His sisters, Gina and Sophia, both play Division I soccer at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Filip Hronek – Defenseman, 8th-ranked European Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-0, 163 pounds – HR. Kralove, Czech Republic
Nov. 2, 1997 – Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Scored four goals and 16 points in 13 games with HC Hradec Kralove U20 in the Czech U20 league in 2015-16. Also appeared in 40 games with HK Hradec Kralove last season, registering four assists.
Represented the Czech Republic at the 2015 World Junior Championship, posting two assists in five games.
Has four goals and nine points in 18 career international junior games with the Czech Republic.
Charlie McAvoy – Defenseman, 6th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-0, 208 pounds – Boston University, Hockey East
Dec. 21, 1997 – Long Beach, New York
Was the youngest player in the NCAA in 2015-16. Named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team after finishing sixth in the conference among defensemen with 25 points last season.
Helped the U.S. capture gold medals at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and 2015 Under-18 World Championship. Earned a bronze at the 2016 World Junior Championship.
Learned to play hockey on rollerblades; named the Metro Junior Hockey League’s offensive defenseman of the year in 2012-13 with 43 points in 35 games with the New Jersey Rockets.
NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory, via NHL.com: "He has a real pro game to him. He's a player who, because of his late birthdate, has played with players already drafted at a very high level for a long time, but has shown the kind of game that really translates well to the pro game."
Mikhail Sergachev – 8th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-2, 208 pounds – Windsor, OHL
June 25, 1998 – Nizhnekamsk, Russia
Led all OHL defensemen in goals with 17, and finished third among blueliners in assists (tied; 40) and points (57) in 2015-16 with Windsor. Placed third in overall OHL rookie scoring.
Became the second-youngest recipient of the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding defenseman, just the second rookie to receive the honor.
Won gold with Russia at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and also represented his country at both the 2015 and 2016 Under-18 World Hockey Championships.