The Predators’ rookies traveled to the Saveology.com IcePlex in Coral Springs, Florida for back-to-back games against the Panthers prospects earlier this week. And if Predators fans were looking for anything to get them excited about the 2010-11 hockey season, the rookies provided an exceptional start.
In the first game, Wednesday night, the Predators prospects took control of the game early and did not look back. Out shooting the Panthers, 40-37 in the game and taking home the win, 5-0. Florida applied strong pressure through the final two periods, out shooting the Predators 32 to 16, but they were unable to solve the dynamic goaltending duo of Chet Pickard
and Anders Lindbäck.
Lindbäck relieved the starter Pickard midway through the contest. Participating in his first game on North American ice, the Swedish goaltender said, “It was a new thing for me to play in a smaller rink. I believe it is a much faster game here.”
Forward Taylor Beck
showed a strong physical presence, lighting the lamp twice in the game. “It was fun. I had a lot of good experience from last year coming into this camp,” said Beck, “I felt comfortable and played really well with my line mates.” Beck contributed the win to good team chemistry, “we just clicked early and we took advantage of all of our opportunities.”
Thursday afternoon, the rookies were back on the ice to close out the series. Lindbäck got the start against highly touted goaltending prospect, Jacob Markström. Both Lindbäck and Markström played with the Brynäs IF organization in Sweden. When asked about the match up, Lindbäck said it, “was pretty special to see him (Markström) across the ice in a Florida jersey. We have known each other since we were children. We are very good friends and I hope we get to do that more in the future.” Lindbäck would have the last laugh however, as he backstopped the Predators to the win over his old teammate. Beck was prevalent once again, adding a goal and an assist as part of Nashville’s 5-1 outburst.
Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton was excited with what he saw from Beck and the rest of the rookie team. “It was good to see him (Beck) display what we think he is capable of doing and that is being a power forward,” Fenton commented.
Multiple players from the Predators 2009 draft were showcased over the two day trip. With Beck, Ryan Ellis
, Michael Latta
and Gabriel Bourque
all showing the talent and skill that landed them in the Nashville stable. “We’re trying to prove ourselves to the other guys around the organization, and hopefully that is what we did down in Florida,” Beck added while discussing the 2009 draft class.
Fenton added, “The players that have been able to step up and play in front of us, we are very happy with. They are progressing well but we’ll see how it goes from here.” If these young prospects continue to develop as the hoped, they will be well on their way to proving their worth to the entire organization.
These rookie prospect as well as the veterans will be attending training camp all week at Centennial Sportsplex. All practices are open to the public; please click here to view the 2010 Predators Training Camp Schedule.