The Smashville Scope presented by JOCKEY prepares fans for the week ahead with news, videos and clips from the past week, plus, game and event info for the next seven days. Use promo code "GOAL" to save 25% on your next JOCKEY purchase.
The final restricted free agent on Nashville's offseason checklist has put pen to paper.
On Monday, Eeli Tolvanen inked a three-year, $4.35 million contract with the Preds, the eighth and final RFA to finalize a deal with the club over the summer months.
Tolvanen joins fellow forwards Rem Pitlick, Mathieu Olivier and Tanner Jeannot, defensemen Dante Fabbro, Jeremy Davies and Ben Harpur, as well as goaltender Juuse Saros, as former RFAs who now own new contracts headed into the 2021-22 season.
For the 22-year-old Tolvanen, who posted 22 points (11g-11a) in 40 games for the Predators in 2020-21 - his first full NHL season - the deal is well-earned as the 2017 first-round pick showed he belongs in the best League in the world.
His 11 goals were the fourth-most on the Predators and were the most scored by a Preds rookie since Filip Forsberg netted 26 in 2014-15. Tolvanen also challenged two rookie franchise records; his six power-play goals - which led the Predators - were tied for the second-most in team history, and his six-game point streak (3g-6a) from March 21-30 was tied for the second-longest. Among NHL rookies, Tolvanen was tied for first in game-winning goals (4); tied for second in power-play goals; was third in power-play points (12); 10th in goals; and 12th in points (22), helping him earn votes for the Calder Trophy.
Of course, no rookie season is complete without a set of growing pains, and Tolvanen was no different. After going the final eight games of the regular season without a goal, Tolvanen found himself scratched for the first two contests of Nashville's first-round series against Carolina before he went pointless in the final four outings of the series.
Those numbers aren't a knock on Tolvanen - every young hockey player goes through the ups and downs - but the Predators will be expecting the highly-skilled winger to take his game to a new level when the puck drops in October.
"When [Head Coach] John [Hynes] and I talk to Tolvy in his exit meeting, it's going to be about continuing to get bigger, stronger, as quick as [he] can get to be able to allow John to play him on a regular basis 5-on-5 and have success, to not make yourself vulnerable to being scratched," Predators General Manager David Poile said back in May. "It's still a work in progress, but again, in terms of what I see for the future of our team, I'm betting that Tolvy is going to be a big player in our future… To me, everything is going in the right direction with Tolvy, he just needs to have a big summer of conditioning that [will] put him in a good spot coming back to training camp, and hopefully he'll be a regular player."
That's certainly the plan, and if Tolvanen has his say, he'll be producing more moments like this in the months and years to come.
Video: NSH@DET: Tolvanen buries one-timer for PPG
Video: CBJ@NSH: Tolvanen snaps fast PPG home from circle
Video: NSH@DAL: Tolvanen blasts puck home on power play
Video: NSH@DAL: Tolvanen knots the game at 3-3 in the 3rd
Video: DAL@NSH: Tolvanen buries backhander for OT winner
L'Heureux, Rallo Mic'd Up During Preds Development Camp:
There's always sure to be a good dose of entertainment when a player or coach wears a microphone on the ice, and forward Zachary L'Heureux, as well as Milwaukee Admirals Assistant Coach Greg Rallo, did not disappoint during Predators Development Camp two weeks ago.
In case you missed the clips, check out the Mic'd Up sessions from PredsDevCamp:
Duchene's Son Receives First Set of Hockey Equipment:
No matter how young or old, receiving that first stick, gloves, pair of skates and the like is quite a moment, and a member of the Smashville family recently experienced that joy firsthand.
Matt Duchene captured the moment as his young son, Beau, laced up a pair of CCMs and strapped on a helmet inside their Nashville home as the offseason winds down. The Predators forward posted a photo and video on Instagram with the caption: "Not sure who is more excited for his first set of hockey gear" as the two showed off their smiles at the feat.
Just like his dad, Beau already has the hockey hair ready to go, too, and it likely won't be long before the younger Duchene starts wheeling around the rinks of Middle Tennessee.
Forsberg's New Offseason Training Technique:
If you follow Filip Forsberg on Instagram, you know he's been back in his native Sweden enjoying the offseason over the past number of weeks. The summertime is reserved for plenty of relaxation, but the training regimens must continue as well, and the Predators winger found a new workout to incorporate into the session.
Along with some help from his fiancée, Erin, check out one of Forsberg's final sprints before heading back to Tennessee.
Filip Forsberg Hockey Clinic Coming in September:
Speaking of Forsberg, youth hockey players in Nashville will once again have the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the game.
The Filip Forsberg Hockey Clinic presented by Delta Dental of Tennessee, which benefits Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee, is set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 at Ford Ice Center Bellevue. The clinic will be geared toward recreational, intermediate and advanced Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam skaters and goaltenders ages 7 to 14. Full equipment is required, and players will be grouped by ability to enhance their learning environment.
The clinic will focus on skill stations and small area games in a fun environment as supported through a set of guidelines designed specifically to help kids reach their full potential through the USA Hockey American Development Model. Qualified instructors will include members of the Ford Ice Center hockey staff and Preds Amateur Hockey development staff.
Click here for more information and to sign up for the clinic.
Preds Foundation to Host Peterson Golf Classic, Petey's Preds Party; Tickets On Sale Now:
A pair of signature events in the Preds calendar are making a return this September.
The Nashville Predators Foundation, empowered by SmileDirectClub, will host the 11th Annual First Horizon Brent Peterson Golf Classic on Monday, Sept. 13, at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee. Then, the 10th Annual First Horizon Petey's Preds Party will return to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Both events will benefit the Predators Foundation and the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's.
The Golf Classic has become a staple over the years, and local celebrities, along with Predators alumni and executives will be paired with each foursome playing in the morning and afternoon flights. Taking place on the Vanderbilt Legends South Course, the tournament will feature several competitions, such as the longest drive and closest-to-the-pin contest. For additional information or to register a team, click here.
After a year off in 2020, the First Horizon Petey's Preds Party is back over the ice at Bridgestone Arena. Always a fan favorite, attendees will enjoy an evening of stand-up comedy from Nashville-based comedian Aaron Weber, a delicious dinner and an auction of rare hockey and sports items. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available by clicking here.
In addition to benefiting the Predators Foundation, both events will benefit the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's, which was founded in 2009 by Brent Peterson. "Petey," as he is known, served as an assistant coach from Day One until 2011 when he brought his battle with Parkinson's into the public eye. Today, Petey continues to work tirelessly to raise awareness of the devastating effects of Parkinson's disease and advance PFP's mission - to support and enhance lives of people with Parkinson's, their care partners and families to achieve their highest possible quality of life through awareness, education and programs within a caring community.
Predators Official Podcast:
The final episode of the offseason is here, and Juuse Saros is signed. Nashville's goaltender agrees to a four-year, $20 million contract and looks back on Pekka Rinne's influence on his career. Also, Preds prospect Philip Tomasino joins the show as Development Camp concludes. Brooks Bratten and Chris Mason discuss it all, plus they answer some listener questions.
Upcoming Bridgestone Arena Events:
Hockey will return to Bridgestone Arena in October, but other exciting events are back at the home of the Preds.
Sept. 9: Blake Shelton - Friends and Heroes 2021 featuring Martina McBride, Tracy Byrd, Trace Adkins and Lindsay Ell. Click here for tickets.
Sept. 17: Alanis Morissette - rescheduled from 2020. All tickets will be honored for the new date.
Sept. 21: Eric Clapton with Special Guest Jimmie Vaughan. Click here for tickets.
Past Three Weeks In Review:
Preds Growing Hockey Through CORE Program as First Graduation Occurs
Predators Sign Eeli Tolvanen to Three-Year, $4.35 Million Contract
Preds Set to Host Fifth Annual Fishing Tournament October 2
Preds Announce Extension In Affiliation with the Florida Everblades
Preds Announce Single-Game On Sale for November, December Home Games
Saros Thankful for Rinne's Mentorship, Ready for New Role with Preds
Team Gold Takes Future Stars Game as Preds Development Camp Concludes
Farrance Building Off Early NHL Experiences During Preds Development Camp
Prokop Humbled by Support, Enjoying Time at Predators Development Camp
Confident Tomasino Making Most of Time at Preds Development Camp
Predators Sign Juuse Saros to Four-Year, $20 Million Contract
Predators Announce Game Start Times for 2021-22 NHL Season
Preds, Bridgestone Arena Event Services Director Earns 30 Under 30 Honor