Last summer in Dallas, Nashville's table on the Draft floor didn't see any action until the fourth round. They won't have to wait nearly as long this time around.
The Predators hold the 24th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, and barring any last-minute changes, Nashville brass will make their way to the stage in Vancouver late in the first round to select a player with potential to become a star in the Music City.
Rather than focusing on a certain position, Preds Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting Jeff Kealty has said the club almost always calls the name judged by the group to be the best available.
Will that individual be responsible for patrolling the blue line? Here are four defensemen who could slip on a Gold jersey at Rogers Arena on June 21.
Cameron York - Defenseman, 12th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting
5-foot-11, 175 pounds - USA U-18, NTDP
Jan. 5, 2001 - Anaheim, California
York led all defensemen and ranked fifth among all players on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program's Under-18 Team with 14 goals and 65 points in 63 games last season.
York set a USA Hockey NTDP record on Jan. 15, 2019, when he became the first player in club history to tally seven points in a single USHL game. He recorded a hat trick and added four helpers on the night.
His 65 points in 2018-19 are the highest single-season total by a defenseman in NTDP history. York has recorded a total of 103 points in 122 career games with the program to become just the second defenseman in NTDP history to hit the 100-point mark.
York is a decorated player on the international level as well, including a Gold Medal at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and then a silver and bronze with Team USA at the 2018 and 2019 U-18 World Championship, respectively.
York says he models his style of play after Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski.
Ville Heinola - Defenseman, 4th-ranked European Skater, NHL Central Scouting
5-foot-11, 178 pounds - Lukko, Finland
Feb. 3, 2001 - Honkajoki, Finland
Heinola skated primarily with Lukko of the Finnish Elite League in 2018-19, where he registered two goals and 14 points in 34 regular-season games before adding a goal and four assists in the postseason.
Heinola captured Gold with Team Finland at the 2019 World Junior Championship, and also represented his country at the 2019 Under-18 World Championship and 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Heinola says he models his style of play after Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Moritz Seider - Defenseman, 6th-ranked European Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-foot-4, 183 pounds - Mannheim, Germany
April 6, 2001 - Zell, Germany
Seider was named Rookie of the Year in Germany's top men's hockey league - the DEL - last season. He recorded two goals and six points in 29 games during the regular season before adding five helpers in the postseason to help Mannheim capture the league championship.
Seider skated for Team Germany at the 2019 World Championship where he scored twice in five games. He also captained his country to the Gold Medal at the 2019 World Junior Championship - Division 1, Group A where he was named best defenseman after leading all blueliners with seven points in five games.
Seider says he models his style of play after Preds Captain Roman Josi.
Tobias Bjornfot - Defenseman, 7th-ranked European Skater, NHL Central Scouting
6-foot, 202 pounds - Djurgarden Jr., Sweden Jr.
April 6, 2001 - Upplands Vasby, Sweden
Bjornfot was named the best defenseman in Sweden's junior league last season. He tallied 11 goals and 22 points in 39 games for Djurgardens' junior club in addition to skating in seven regular-season and four playoff games for Djurgardens' men's team in the Swedish Hockey League.
Bjornfot has led teams internationally, captaining Sweden to a gold medal at the 2019 Under-18 World Championship. He was also the captain as his country captured silver at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and he earned a bronze medal at the 2018 Under-18 World Championship.
*Player bio information courtesy NHL Central Scouting