Future Stars

The future is bright in Smashville. 

In front of a packed crowd at Ford Ice Center Bellevue on Saturday, the Nashville Predators prospects capped another successful Development Camp off with a thrilling Future Stars Game finale.

“It was awesome,” 2023 second-round pick Kalan Lind said. “It felt like a real game out there, hearing the anthem and then after the anthem hearing the crowd chanting, ‘Let’s go Preds.’ It was pretty loud and pretty surreal. That’s just a taste of Nashville for you, right there.”

Lind Talks Development Camp, Future Stars Game

Nashville’s 2024 first-round pick Egor Surin elicited the biggest response from the home crowd after his pregame introduction and lived up to his reputation, scoring two goals, adding an assist and delivering a number of crushing checks to the team in Gold, Lind included.

Not that there were any hard feelings from Surin’s fellow draft pick.

“He's awesome,” Lind said. “Just watching him today, he has this skill and he has a work ethic that’s going to make him a really good player in this League. You dump pucks in, and he’s the one who chases it as hard as he can, and he’s running guys all over the ice and putting the puck in the net. He’s a very good hockey player and I really like his game.”

Nolan Burke and Kasper Kulonummi cracked the scoresheet for Team Blue as well, while 2023 fourth-round pick Juha Jatkola turned away all shots faced in the game’s first half to prop up Blue’s eventual shootout victory.

Gibson Talks Development Camp, Future Stars Game

Recent trade acquisition Andrew Gibson kept the morning exciting for Team Gold, netting the equalizer with five minutes remaining and scoring in the game’s final shootout after 2023 first-round pick Tanner Molendyk, second-round pick Felix Nilsson and 2024 fourth-round pick Viktor Norringer erased a three goal deficit for Blue in the game’s second half. 

Of course, the final score and the statlines didn’t mean nearly as much as the experience itself, and each of Nashville’s prospects attending this year’s camp exited Ford Ice Center on Saturday with plenty of excitement for what the future could someday hold.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Burke said. “It kind of gives you a glimpse of what it could be like, going out there, and gives you a lot of motivation to work as hard as you can to make it one day. It was just great to be out there.”

Burke Talks Development Camp, Future Stars Game

Indeed, though each of Nashville’s prospects will continue their development journeys far from the Music City this season, they’ll all return to their respective teams with a week’s worth of NHL knowledge and resources under their belts.

“It was an awesome week,” Lind said. “I had so much fun here, and all the coaches and staff, I couldn't thank them enough. This week, for me, was about getting bigger and stronger, and honestly, just learning from the coaches and the experience, and even picking up little things from other guys' games. They're all very good prospects, and we're all here for a reason.”

“This is a great organization,” Gibson said. “They pride themselves on the work ethic and the little decisions. Our slogan this week was ‘The Standard,’ and we talked a lot about that. And getting to know what they want out of us is huge. If we put all those things together, that can help us get to that next level and help us achieve our goals.”

A number of Nashville’s Development Camp attendees will return to the Music City for Rookie Camp and the ensuing rookie tournament, set for Ford Ice Center Bellevue in September.

More information, including dates and final rosters, will be announced soon.

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