3 Predators With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Nashville Predators made some big changes over the past year. They sold big-time at the trade deadline and made even more impactful moves in the offseason. They have a much different look that involves a ton of young talent to push them forward. They might be a playoff bubble team again, but scoring could be an issue. If they want to get back into the playoffs, some players have a lot to prove this season.

Ryan O'Reilly

Ryan O'Reilly had a very tough start to last season with the St. Louis Blues. He struggled offensively and wasn't the same player he usually is in the defensive zone. Things changed a bit for the better once he was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he decided to move on to the Predators this offseason and serve as the number one centerman. This is a tall task for a veteran who's arguably declining and coming off a tough season. He has to be one of the leaders and find his scoring touch again if the Predators want success.

Thomas Novak

Thomas Novak was one of the young and dynamic players that took full advantage of their opportunity with the Predators last season. In 51 games, he managed 17 goals and 43 points while logging 14:39 of ice time per game. It seems as though he is going to start the season off as the third line centerman, so it will be very tough to match the offensive production he had last season. He will arguably get just as much or more ice time as last season, so in a contract year, he will be battling to prove the production wasn't a fluke.

Dante Fabbro

Dante Fabbro had a tough season in 2022-23, and it coincided with the arrival of Ryan McDonagh. Fabbro played less and was then moved down the lineup. After three consecutive seasons playing over 19 minutes a game, he dropped to 17:27. With Tyson Barrie now in the mix, it will continue to be tough to find playing time for Fabbro to see any sort of improvement. It will be a challenge, but he has to climb back into a top-four role and solidify his future in Nashville.

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