It's almost scary - in a good way - how quickly Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson has gone from being selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft to an NHL regular on the Nashville roster.
The 5-foot-9 Arvidsson, who was the only player drafted outside of the first round to appear in an NHL game in 2014-15, finds himself leading the Predators with four goals and six points through eight games this season. And a player doesn't find himself at this level so quickly without putting in some effort.
"I shoot a lot in the summers, and I try to work on my shot," Arvidsson said. "I work really hard in the offseason because of my size; I need to be strong and I need to compete on a big level, and that's what I try to do."
While there may not be another player who shows his excitement after scoring better than Arvidsson, it's the parts of his game that he's been able to round out when he's not hitting the back of the net that are just as impressive.
"Going back to when I first saw Viktor, he impressed me," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "The first development camp that I was at when I first took the job here, just his explosiveness, his ability to shoot the puck - he did good things out there. I remember commenting back then that he had a good development camp, and from there he's really worked hard to put himself in the position through our minor league system and his call-ups. He's a guy that shoots the puck and scores goals, and he's off to a good start for us."
Arvidsson has seen time skating alongside centers Ryan Johansen and Mike Ribeiro at different points in his NHL action, and the two commented on the winger's ability to move up and down the ice at a rapid pace.
"Speed, a lot of speed and work ethic," Ribeiro said of Arvidsson. "He's a guy that works for position and works to get the puck. He likes to shoot it and has a great shot, great speed, and I think if you have those two assets in this League, you can be a good player. He's been determined to make a difference, and he's been great for us this year."
"From the time I met Arvi, I always have emphasized and told him and pushed him to move his legs, because it's evident when he's moving his legs as fast as he can, he's so dangerous out there," Johansen said. "He creates so much space for himself and for his linemates; it's such a great asset for him, and it's nice to see him having fun out there right now."
Whether it's Ribeiro or Johansen dishing the puck to Arvidsson - or he's just beating someone six inches taller to get it himself - the Swede continues to find his way in the NHL, doing whatever it takes to make his mark.
"Of course it's always fun to score goals," Arvidsson said. "It's a boost for the team, but I'm just thinking about the next game, and what we're going to do to try and win."
'Cause This Is Thriller:
In an informal poll taken in the Preds locker room on this Halloween of 2016, it was rather unanimous that Michael Jackson's hit 'Thriller' reigns supreme. Colin Wilson, Mike Ribeiro and P.K. Subban all agreed there really isn't anything close when it comes to a song related to the holiday. Released in 1982, the song is widely regarded to be featured in one of the greatest music videos of all time as well, a fact not lost on one of the team's biggest music aficionados.
"Thriller," Wilson said. "It's a classic, and I love that music video."
Shot of the Day: