Let's just say that the Preds know how to draft good Dmen. Seems like they might just have another one in the wings. Drafted in the fifth round in 2004, Janne Niskala has currently 14 points in 14 games (7G-7A) in the SEL and is tied for first place in team scoring. Anyone has more info on him? Would there be a place on the roster for him considering all the talent that's on the blue line right now?
You're kiddin'. I figured he fell off the radar after his subpar years since being drafted. I guess if he continues at this pace, we'll find a spot for him in North America.
My guess is that if he shows little interest in coming over and fighting for a spot (as opposed to being handed a roster spot, which won't happen), he could be valuable trade bait. There are a lot of teams in the NHL that could use a slick, skilled offensive defenseman. You could see him end up with a similar fate as Marek. He could be a part of a trade.
I should also add the Denis Kulyash is putting up some impressive numbers for Moscow Dynamo. He's the team's third leading scorer with 2 goals and 3 assists through the teams first 7 games. When you combine Niskala and Kulyash with the hot starts by Franson and Laakso, the Preds are in a very enviable position right now. And that doesn't include two other young prospects who are still off the NHL roster: Kevin Klein and Ryan Parent. Yeah, I'd say we've damn near cornered the market on defensive prospects.
Oh, and Alexander Sulzer is still alive and kicking in Germany.