by Thomas Sarver
In this article I’m not including players on the AHL Affiliate because they are more well known to fans then these players are. Although it is enticing to write about the Preds most exciting prospect in Eeli Tolvanen, it Is also just as exciting to find out just how many exciting prospects we have. So with that being, lets jump right in.
#1 Karel Vejmelka, Goaltender
Karel was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 Draft, before that he spent time at the different levels of HC Pardubice before moving to HC Kometa Brno after being drafted, and since then he has been loaned out to a plethora of Tier 2 Czech league clubs, but this season he has taken off. Appearing in 11 games Brno in the tier 1 league, he posted a 2.04 GAA and a .928 Save percentage before being sent on loan to SK Horacka Slavia Trebic where in his first 5 games he has posted an amazing 1.37 GAA and a .947 Save Percentage. Taking into account that he is in a tier 2 league, it is easy to write that off, but when you partner it with the steady progression and his start to the year in the Czech league 1, it appears that he may soon find his way into Milwaukee where he will get a more substantial chance at making a career in the NHL.
#2 Dante Fabbro, defenseman
Drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 draft. Fabbro quickly became a fan favorite when it was revealed that his favorite player is Shea Weber, who was the Nashville Captain at the time. Another reason the fans were excited about this pick was because of his similar play style to Weber. Being a two-way defenseman with a decent offensive upside is a great thing to have in this league. Also being a right-handed defenseman also increases his value. This year in his 3rd year playing for the prestigious Boston University, Fabbro was given the captaincy, and he has rewarded Boston so far, with 11 points in his first 9 games of the year. This is another situation where it is early on in the year, but if he continues producing at this level, expect to see him make an appearance in Milwaukee or Nashville.
#3 Jáchym Kondelík, Center
The 2018 4th round pick chose to go the NCAA route along with other Preds prospects. Choosing the University of Connecticut, Kondelík is having a major impact due to his accurate passing, which he improved during his two years in the USHL. In his debut season with Connecticut, Kondelík hasn’t found the back of the net but has 11 helpers in 12 games. Worth noting is that in his draft year, NHL Central Scouting had him pegged as the #48 player. That and his start to the year makes it look like Nashville got a steal when they picked him #111 in 2018.
#4 Rem Pitlick, Center
We are going to stay on the trend of NCAA prospects with 2016 3rd round pick Rem Pitlick. Pitlick is in his third season for the University of Minnesota. His first two seasons were tremendously successful seasons where Pitlick put up 26 goals and 37 assists for a grand total of 63 points in 74 games. This year looks like it will be no different with 4 goals and 4 assists in his first 9 games. It would be an understatement to say that Pitlick is showing some promise.
#5 Pavel Koltygin, Center
Ending the run of NCAA players, Koltygin is in his third season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) which is a part of the CHL and home to plenty of top-tier NHL prospects. Koltygin has 8 goals and 7 assists in 21 games which gives him the highest point total among Nashville Prospects (not including AHL players). As a 6th round draft pick in 2017, the 19-year-old has plenty of time to continue to develop into an all-around solid player.