The Nashville Predators have long been a franchise with a checkered history when it comes to developing offensively skilled players. Their development of Filip Forsberg to this point has done little to push that reputation back at all. Nashville acquired the talented young center at the trade deadline last year in what many hailed as a coup.
Since then, Barry Trotz and Nashville as a whole hasn’t done a very good job in coaxing Forsberg’s considerable abilities out. Looking at the 19-year-old’s game log, it’s easy to see that he was given a few games at the beginning of the season to magically secure a top-six role before slowly having his minutes reduced as the campaign rolled on.
Forsberg hasn’t played since November 15 due to an injury, but once he returns it seems likely that the Predators will send him back to the AHL where he’s had some offensive success. That’s speculation on our part, but recent comments made by Trotz seem to indicate what the Predators intend to do with him moving forward.
The coach spoke to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean and had the following to say about Forsberg:
He’s a tremendous young kid. He has a lot of ability. He has a long way to go to play in the National Hockey League on a regular basis. I shouldn’t say play in the National Hockey League — to produce in the National Hockey League. I think he has a lot of great tools, exceptional hands and is a quality young man, but there’s still a long way for him to go.
That’s a frank assessment, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Forsberg spend the rest of the 2013-14 campaign in the minors because of how Trotz views him.