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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.
SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33