Nashville Predators top prospect Eeli Tolvanen has had his contract with the KHL’s Jokerit Helsinki terminated. The Finnish club made the news official on social media late last night by publishing the news on social media:
What this means now is that the 18 year old scoring sensation is now free to sign an entry level deal with the Predators anytime. The Preds dropped an OT decision to the Winnipeg Jets last night and in fact have dropped three games straight, so it’s clear that they could use a boost. But, just what can they expect from Tolvanen?
The youngster absolutely tore up the KHL in his rookie season, scoring 21 goals and 30 points in 51 games. While those numbers may not jump right off the page, keep in mind that the kid is just 18 years old. He has so much more to room to grow. The Nummela, Finland native was selected 30th overall by the Predators at this past June’s 2017 NHL Entry Draft and won six Rookie of the Week honors and two Rookie of the Month honors this season in the KHL. He was also a KHL All-Star and was named to the Olympic All-Star team in Pyeogchang after putting up a remarkable three goals and nine points in just five games at the Olympics. In short, the kid is legit.
Once he signs and arrives in Nashville, he’ll give the team yet another offensive weapon on the wing. The Preds already boast Viktor Arvidsson, Craig Smith and Ryan Hartman on the right side, but it’s not unreasonable to think that Tolvanen could bump one of those players down the lineup. Tolvanen can also play the left side and perhaps could slide into Kevin Fiala’s spot or Scott Hartnell’s spot on the 2nd or 3rd line. Any way you look at it, Tolvanen provides the already offensively deep Preds with an added element.
Laviolette gets ejected after absolutely losing it on the refs
In case you missed it, Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette was ejected from last night’s 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild after Laviolette lost his cool on the referees.
Here’s how it all played out:
Preds forward Scott Hartnell absolutely DRILLED Wild forward Joel Eriksson-Ek from behind with a dirty hit. Hartnell then gets dumped by three Wild players, including tough guy Nick Seeler. There was no call from the referees on Hartnell’s original hit, but someone he ends up in the penalty box. Laviolette assumes, incorrectly, that his team is about to get a power play for the beatdown that Hartnell receives and is absolutely incensed when he finds out that Hartnell is in fact the perpetrator.
The refs sort it out, drop the puck but then immediately have to blow the play down because of Laviolette. The veteran head coach is STILL giving it to the refs all the way from the bench and what he said must have been truly awful because at that point he gets tossed from the game.
Here’s the entire sequence, check it out:
Peter is fired up! Maybe it was the play, or maybe Laviolette is just frustrated after dropping two straight games? NHL fans and analysts have been picking Nashville as a Stanley Cup favorite since the offseason but the powerhouse team has begun to show signs of cracking lately. It could be that Laviolette’s frustration is just boiling over. Or, it could be that he’s trying to motivate and inspire his team a bit?