On Saturday night, the Milwaukee Admirals took on the Iowa Wild at BMO Bradley Harris Center in Milwaukee. While the Admirals suffered a 4-2 defeat, the game gave a good opportunity to scout some of the top prospects in the system for the Nashville Predators.
Below are scouting reports and notes from players. Hopefully these help you get a better understanding of what’s in the system for Nashville.
Viktor Arvidsson (winger) – 2014 – 4th round – 112th overall
Ardvidsson has excellent vision and puck movement. He forced a turnover in the neutral zone, activated his speed past the defender but shot wide. There were times when he would hold on to the puck for a split second too long, which negated a good scoring opportunity. This will get better as he matures. Scored a goal on a filthy one timer from Fiala from the face off circle. His speed and ability to move around the defender will be a great asset.
52 games – 16 goals – 26 assists
“I like to use my shot. I think I have a pretty good shot, so I want to use it. If you don’t shoot, you’re not going to score, so I just try to put pucks on the net and hope someone is there to get the rebound.” – Arvidsson
Colton Sissons (forward) – 2012 – 2nd round – 50th overall
Sissons is a smart player with good hockey sense, and a leader in the locker room as he wears an “A” as an alternate captain. In particular, during a face off on his strong side, he immediately forced a shot on the draw, creating a rebound and scoring opportunity. He shows good speed while entering the zone and uses his body to dictate play. Not afraid to get into the corners and battle for the puck. Sissons has a quick release on the wrist shot. Shows patience with the puck. Excellent work on the power play to turn a 3 on 1 into a goal with a secondary assist on a Fiala score.
52 games (MKE) – 19 goals – 9 assists
“I try to be more of a leader with my on-ice play and the attitude I bring to the rink every day. That’s a big part of leadership and what I try to do best. It’s exciting times to be a Predators right now and we’re doing awesome things here, too. It’s a great time to be in this organization.” – Sissons
Kevin Fiala (winger) – 2014 – 1st round – 11th overall
Fiala recently joined the Admirals after leaving HV71 of the SHL, and he has all he makings to be an explosive player. He’s not afraid to shoot the puck at any opportunity and always seems to be buzzing around the net. With that speed and skill, the defense is attracted towards him, leaving other teammates open. Still some growth needed on his vision and sense as he sometimes tries to get too cute with puck movement. There were a few passes that turned into turnovers because they were forced. Still shows ability to push through and dangle three defenders. Has good hustle, not lazy at all. Excellent cross ice pass to Arvidsson to create a goal. Scores on the PP, one-timer from Stalberg and Sissons on a three on one.
13 games (MKE) – 5 goals – 5 assists
“I like it and the team here a lot. Every guy is a good guy here. They’ve made it easy to come here because they help me and talk to me. They make me feel a lot home here. It’s a much different game. Less time with the smaller ice rink. My goal is to come to the NHL as soon as possible and take it step by step.” – Fiala
Garrett Noonan (defense) – 2011 – 4th round – 112th overall
Aside from Arvidsson and Fiala, Noonan probably impressed the most. With the new systems in Nashville that include activating the defense more in the offensive zone, Noonan was able to pinch in, but also showed excellent recovery speed to get back in the defensive zone. His awareness has definitely grown since this past development camp and preseason. During an odd man rush, Noonan hustled back into the defensive zone and cut off a forward streaking in, negating the rush. His foot speed is an asset that he continues to work on. Has a fast release on the wrist shot and it’s on target. Noonan spent five games in Cincinnati earlier in the season, which helped him fine tune his game.
36 games (MKE) – 4 goals – 5 assists
“I think it’s something that coaches made an emphasis on earlier in the year that they wanted my foot speed to get better. I’ve worked on that with our strength and conditioning coach here. I’ve done foot speed ladders and other workouts. I think it’s coming along, but it’s a work in progress.” – Noonan
Jonathan Diaby (defense) – 2013 – 3rd round – 64th overall
It was noted at the beginning of the season that Diaby needed to work on his speed and awareness. After a brief stint in Cincinnati of the ECHL, Diaby is beginning to improve. His awareness has improved and he commanded the point well by keeping the puck in the offensive zone and making quick passes to the forwards. Watson gets into position well, but needs to use his big body to battle for the puck. He’ll continue to add muscle, but he’s already one of the bigger guys in the league. He should use that to his advantage.
39 games (MKE) – 0 goals – 2 assists
“Once I got back from Cincinnati, my confidence was higher. I just started playing way better and I’m really happy with the way I’m playing right now. The whole lifestyle is different from junior; living on your own, no billet family, you have to cook on your own.” – Diaby
Austin Watson (center) – 2010 – 1st round – 18th overall
Watson is having a very strong season with the Admirals. He’s played with Nashville in the past as a call-up, and should be near that point. With many other clubs, he’d probably be in the NHL, but the logjam of forwards in Nashville, especially at center, is keeping him from that opportunity. He plays heavy minutes in Milwaukee, including special teams. He goes to the net and likes to get under the opposing teams skin by causing havoc in front of the net. He’s physical and is not afraid to shoot the puck.
52 games (MKE) – 18 goals – 12 assists
“I feel like I’m ready at this point (to play in the NHL), but obviously Nashville is the best team in the league right now. There are guys playing well and that’s great for them. That’s what you want to see. As of right now, I’m just trying to get better here and help us win. We’re doing a good job of that so far. We’re incorporating things here that they want to see up there (in Nashville). We’ve been doing a pretty good job to keep the pace high offensively and keep the pucks out of our own end.” – Watson
While some of these players may not make an appearance in Predators gold this season, with their continued development, the future is definitely bright.
Photos courtesy: Milwaukee Admirals