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Impressive Crop at Preds Rookie Camp

Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 3:10 PM CT / Training Camp Central
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Impressive Crop at Preds Rookie Camp
By Bryan Mullen

If the Predators’ history is any indication, some future Nashville stars will be on the ice at Centennial Sportsplex this weekend.

Long known as a club that builds a successful core from within, a new wave of young players took to the ice Saturday as the 2011-12 Nashville Predators rookie camp got underway.

A sampling of the names that are expected to impress are defenseman Ryan Ellis and forwards Craig Smith, Taylor Beck and Austin Watson.

Some of the veterans who worked with the rookies during informal skates earlier in the week came away impressed. And it wasn’t only because of the youngsters’ talents.

“Obviously guys mature at different ages, but as a group here, the kids seem pretty good,” Nashville Predators Captain Shea Weber said.

“They’re all willing to learn and are very respectful. It’s an exciting time. The Preds draft well and I’m interested to see how a lot of these guys are going to turn out.”

The youngest player in rookie camp is forward Brent Andrews, who turned 18 in January. The oldest player in rookie camp is goaltender Atte Engren, who turned 23 in February.

Predators forward Mike Fisher, 31, is an NHL veteran and has similarly been impressed with the younger players who have little or no NHL experience.

“I’ve played on some young teams,” Fisher said. “When I first came into the league we had a few older guys, but the core of the team was pretty young, kind of like it is here. I think when you look at our youth and the way we competed last year, you see guys are coming into their prime and getting more experience. They are getting better. That’s exciting. That’s what you want.”

Fisher doesn’t expect the Predators’ veterans to have to do much yelling and screaming to get the attention of the younger players.

“There are always new guys stepping in,” Fisher said. “For the guys who have been there, it’s leading by example and getting everyone focused on one goal. You are making sure guys are on track, which for the most part guys are disciplined and want to win here. They’re a good group of young guys, that’s for sure.”

After only two days of official workouts to start rookie camp, they will be tested quickly with a road game at Tampa on Monday and another at Florida on Tuesday. One more official rookie practice will take place Wednesday before the first training camp practice for all players begins on Saturday.

And there will still be a youthful feel once regular training starts. The current training camp roster has 55 players listed, and 50 are younger than 30 years old.
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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 53 21 27 5 131 156 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 53 10 27 -2 37
S. Weber 53 14 21 -4 35
F. Forsberg 53 15 18 -6 33
M. Ribeiro 53 6 27 3 33
J. Neal 53 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 53 6 16 3 22
R. Ellis 52 6 15 2 21
C. Smith 53 11 6 -1 17
C. Jarnkrok 52 9 7 0 16
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 17 7 .904 2.50
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36