Nashville Predators Free Agency Targets

Nashville Predators

We are less than a week away from the 2024 NHL Entry Draft taking place the last weekend of June, followed by the start of free agency on July 1. The Nashville Predators have plenty of capital in draft picks, prospects, and cap space, and have the potential to make a splash this summer.

Thanks to recently retired General Manager, David Poile, as well as new GM, Barry Trotz’s aggressive moves to refresh the Preds culture and retool for their future, the Predators have eight draft picks in this year’s draft as well as nine more next year, including three first-round picks. The Preds also have plenty of space and money to make adjustments to their current lineup while they let their prospect pool marinate in Milwaukee.

Heading into free agency, Trotz has a difficult task ahead of him in deciding how aggressive he wants to be. In his first free agency with the Preds, he brought aboard key veteran leaders Ryan O’Reilly, 33, Luke Schenn, 34, and Gustav Nyquist, 34, to multi-year deals to shift the locker room culture and mentor the prospect pool as they make their way into the lineup. Trotz has made it clear the future is the goal, but he wants to continue putting together the best team on the ice as possible. 

Nashville has key areas that need to be filled this offseason. With only 16 players signed for next season and about 26 million in projected cap space, Trotz has plenty of room to play with and could potentially sign some big contracts. Here are six players who are potentially looking for new homes on July 1st and could fit in well with the future of the Preds.

Brett Pesce

With the recent trade sending Ryan McDonagh back to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Preds are in the market for a top defender. Pesce, 29, would slide perfectly into that top-four pairing on the blue line and could be a perfect partner for Roman Josi. He eats plenty of minutes, including PK time, and is solid in the defensive zone. The Preds were courting the Carolina Hurricanes last summer in hopes of a trade for Pesce, so this is a signing that is very plausible, and the Preds carry both the need and funds to grab him.

Nikita Zadorov

Another possible option for a top-four defender is Nikita Zadorov, 29. Zadorov brings size and decent point production. He could find a home on that top line with Josi or bring some strength to the second line with Schenn, Dante Fabbro, or possibly Jeremy Lauzon. He could be a cheaper option compared to Pesce depending on what Trotz prefers, but both Pesce and Zadorov are strong options to target.

Brandon Montour

A longer shot for the Preds could be Brandon Montour, 30. Fresh off his Stanley Cup victory, Montour has found new life with his time spent with the Florida Panthers. There is mutual interest between Montour and the Panthers to make a deal this summer, but in the slight chance Montour finds himself needing or wanting a new home, the Predators should be keeping him at the top of their list. Preds head coach, Andrew Brunette, coached Montour in Florida, so there is familiarity there, and Montour’s game could fit very well in Nashville’s top pairings.

Jake DeBrusk

It was clear this playoffs that the Predators need scoring depth and Jake DeBrusk, 27, could be an answer for them. He’s a younger player in his prime years that could be looking for a big contract the Predators have the funds to offer. His speed and breakout ability have the potential to fit in well under Brunette’s system.

Martin Nečas

If Pesce signs with the Predators, hopefully, they can entice Hurricane teammate, Martin Nečas, 25, to come down to Broadway. Similar to DeBrusk, Nečas is a young, high-flying forward who could immediately make a difference in the lineup. He could fit anywhere in their top 6 and bring the depth the Predators need and could be the star forward to build the team around. He is a restricted free agent, so signing could be a little trickier, but it seems the Hurricanes might be going in another direction under new leadership.

Sam Reinhart

Similar to Montour, a Reinhart signing isn’t the most likely, but would be an extremely welcome addition to immediately some extra goals on the board. Reinhart finished with 94 points this past season and was a solid contributor in the playoffs. His speed, skill, and experience would help the team grow now while mentoring the younger guys for their future.

The Predators are headed in the right direction, and there is a major draw for free agents looking to relocate. Trotz could go in any direction in the next week, but hopefully, he can bring in some fresh and excited faces to keep the team competitive while also growing the group for the future.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
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  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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