For Pickard, having to play second fiddle to Price before the 2007-08 season with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL is not looking so bad after all. Pickard saw success in minimal outings during Price's last year in major juniors. However, he erased all doubt last year, when he proved that the Americans could survive without Price. Pickard stepped up and literally stepped out of Price's shadow, posting a Tri-City franchise record for wins. He also posted spectacular numbers en route to winning the WHL and CHL goaltender of the year honors. There is no need for the Predators to rush Pickard, as they are content with their situation in Nashville.
Cody Franson # 50 -
Franson is another in an increasingly long line of well-groomed blueliners to come out of the Nashville system. Franson was bested only by Goligoski in rookie scoring among AHL defensemen this past season. Franson has also added to his already imposing size, now standing 6’5 and weighing well over 200 pounds, to go along with his offensive ability. With a spot on the Predators blue line up for grabs next season, the NHL may not be out of reach for Franson. If he does not stick in Nashville, much will be expected of him in his return to Milwaukee.
We again quietly had 3 players on this list, and we all know that Blum/Hornqvist can easily replace Franson on that list. With Spaling being one of those guys sitting in the 70s, it is clear that since 03, the Predators have done an excellent job drafting. Wow!