Even at the age of 25, Roman Josi has quickly become a leader on the blue line for the Nashville Predators. Leading by example and mentoring younger players, Josi is completely comfortable in being a leader during training camp. Much of that can be attributed by his performance in the previous season as well as knowing that he will be in Nashville through the 2019-2020 season.
“If you’ve been here a couple years, you get more comfortable when coming to camp,” said Josi. “You know what’s going on and know your teammates well. It’s just being a little more comfortable and having a little bit more experience. Like with Shea, he’s our leader on the back end. We have a lot of young guys, I’m still pretty young, so the more you play the more comfortable you get.”
Wednesday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was also the first time captain Shea Weber saw game action since going down with a knee injury in game two of the first round of last spring’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. While it may only be preseason, it’s important for Nashville’s captain to be healthy going into the season. On the night, Weber logged 19:23 of ice time along with a power play goal in the first period, a snap shot from the point.
“It was really good,” said Josi on Weber’s game. “I thought he was how he always is. He’s strong, in good shape and healthy. We’re excited that he’s back on the ice.”
While usually paired with Weber during the season, preseason action often sees defensive partners switch it up. Veterans often play with prospects or other blue liners they aren’t normally paired with on the ice.
“I think it’s good,” Josi said on switching it up. “Stuff happens in games. There are going to be injuries during the year. You have to get used to a lot of guys, so I think it’s good to switch it up a little bit and get some chemistry with the other guys.”
With a healthy Weber and Josi to start the season, along with Seth Jones, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and the addition of Barret Jackman, it’s easy to see how the Predators will boast what is arguably the best defensive corps in the league.