One-on-One with Jeff Kealty (Part 2 of 2)

Tuesday, 02.2.2010 / 6:32 PM CT / Features
Nashville Predators
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One-on-One with Jeff Kealty (Part 2 of 2)
Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty talked to us about the Preds 2009 Draft Class and how those prospects have developed over the first half of the '09-10 season. Kealty has been a major influence in the Preds recent draft classes, including overseeing the team's 2009 draft board. Back in mid-January Kealty discussed the Preds '08 Draft Class and previewed this summer's 2010 Draft.

How do you think the offensive guys that were picked in 2009 will work out for the team?
With Minnesota freshman forward Zach Budish, he missed all of last year with an injury, but that hasn’t been an issue at all in 2009-10. He looks good and he’s a mountain of a kid, but he’s lean and strong. There are some adjustments with him that still need to be made. Going from not playing his senior year of high school to playing his first year of college was one of them, but we’re happy with the way he’s play this first half. He has a lot of tools in place with his power, strength and ability to make plays

Guelph forward Taylor Beck has been a pretty good, I don’t want to say surprise, but good third-round pick-up. He’s a powerful winger and he is currently fifth in the Ontario Hockey League in scoring. He’s had a terrific year and we’re really excited about his development.

Moncton forward Gabriel Bourque has also had an excellent year. He is another guy that didn’t have much value going into the draft, but he has a great combination of energy, grit and offensive ability. He’s one of those guys that make it hard to play against him. He’ll be entering our system next year and we’re excited to get him in the organization.

Another we got in the late round is Craig Smith – he’s playing on the top line at the University of Wisconsin with Blake Geoffrion. He has really gotten off to a good start in his freshman year. The draft last year we really feel good about the depth in all different areas but especially up front.

Did Gabriel Bourque become more visible because of his performance at the World Junior Championships?
He is one of the guys that benefited from it. He’s playing in Baie Comeau, which is way up north in Quebec, so he’s maybe not as visible as some of the other players. I think that people have taken notice to the strides that he’s made. For those that didn’t – I think that you got a good look at him on the stage at the World Juniors. He’s probably a more known name now but he’s been known by us for a long time. So we were really happy to get him in the fifth round last year.

Can you talk about the development of the defensemen we selected last year, Shawinigan’s Charles-Olivier Roussel and Mattias Ekholm, playing with Mora in Sweden’s second league?
We are very happy with the development of both guys. Roussel is a solid two-way player. He started out last year with a bad leg injury that was really hampering him through the beginning of the year. Once he got through that his game really fell back into place. He’s been very good and has been among the top scorers in the Quebec League (QMJHL) for defensemen. He is still really young kid that barely made the draft last year. With him, he just needs to continue to get bigger, stronger and quicker, but the foundation is certainly in place.

Ekholm was another guy in those mid-rounds last year that we were really happy with. He is a really dependable two-way guy – that makes a good first pass and moves the puck well. He’s 6-4, but he just needs to fill out and get stronger. He just saw him at the 2010 World Juniors in Saskatoon earlier this month, and he performed very well. He is just a really steady guy that will be a good compliment to some of the other guys we have in the system.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61