The Nashville Predators’ third line, affectionately known as the Herd, has been a driving force for the team going back to the ‘20-21 season. The grouping of center Colton Sissons between wingers Tanner Jeannot and Yakov Trenin brings a rare blend of physicality, offensive production and defensive responsibility. Sissons is the old guard of the group at age 28 and remains a steadying presence in the Predators lineup having filled every forward role imaginable including centering the top line during the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals. Tanner Jeannot came to the Predators organization as an undrafted free agent and has turned himself into a Calder Trophy candidate through the force of sheer will. The member of the line who is probably talked about the least is Yakov Trenin, which is a shame because he might be the reason why the Herd is so successful. Trenin’s impact comes in multiple ways as his game is multi-faceted. Let’s dig into what makes him successful and why he’s such a crucial part of the Predators lineup. 

Linemate Impact

Trenin’s particular set of skills makes a significant impact both at 5v5 and on the penalty kill. While he is not the fastest skater he is a tremendous forechecker. Trenin just has a knack for getting to the puck in time. His strength on the puck is also noticeable as when he retrieves the puck and is working in the corners, he is almost impossible to move off the puck. If we take a deeper dive into the WOWY (with or without you) numbers it is clear that everyone who plays with Trenin sees an improvement. With the Herd, both Sissons and Jeannot see a significant possession difference when they are lined up with Trenin compared to when he isn’t on the ice. 

Trenin With or Without You via Natural Stat Trick

On the penalty kill, Trenin has spent a good amount of time with Mikael Granlund where they have formed a unit that possesses the puck and creates short-handed chances far above what the rest of the Predators penalty killers have managed. 

Trenin Penalty Kill With or Without You Metrics via Natural Stat Trick

In short, everywhere Trenin plays is made better by his presence in the lineup. He is able to create and maintain possession in any situation which helps the Predators create more offense. 

Scoring

For a bigger player on a largely checking line, Trenin’s scoring prowess is easy to miss when in fact he has a very apparent skill for putting the puck in the net. He has already set a career-high in goals with 11 all scored at even strength. Trenin has also shown he can score in multiple ways, both at the net and using his shot from distance. 

Presence

Trenin is a big dude, standing 6’ 2” and 208 pounds. He uses that size very well to play a physical game, especially without the puck. When on the forecheck Trenin punishes defenders who hold onto the puck too long, often creating turnovers that generate offensive chances. Not to be undersold, if the game gets extracurricular then Trenin has a unique set of skills being a trained boxer. Legend of truculence Zdeno Chara found this out first hand trying to stand up for Charlie MacAvoy after Trenin crushed him on a forecheck.

Since this moment, there have been many occasions where opposing players got rowdy until Trenin skated up and then all of a sudden everyone calmed down. Maybe that’s a coincidence, but is it? Trenin unquestionably has a presence on the ice that is recognized by everyone in the game.

What’s Trenin’s Ceiling?

The third line role has served Trenin very well to make impacts at both ends of the ice. He isn’t likely to be a top-end scorer but certainly brings enough offense and possession impact to flex into a top 6 role as needed. Overall Trenin has a well-rounded game and is a positive contributor no matter who is skating with. The Predators would be well served to continue building his role in the lineup.

Statistics and Metrics courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick