Rem Pitlick tops list of players heading for waivers

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It comes down to a numbers game, and for the Nashville Predators, they have sort of a stalemate in the roster up front as they downsize their roster for the regular season.

Rem Pitlick highlights the list of the five players heading to the waivers, in the hope that they clear the waivers and can be assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals. However, other teams have the option to claim them.

It’s a good problem to have, but it’s also difficult for a front office because you really don’t want to lose promising players for nothing. At the end of the day, you have little room on the NHL roster.

Most of the time, these young prospects go unclaimed so that they can return to the prospect pool and continue their development. However, it must be a difficult process for CEOs to leave coveted prospects available to be claimed.

Nashville Predators have a traffic jam up front

As far as Pitlick goes, this one probably surprises a lot of people, including myself. He was on the short list of hopefuls ready to make the full-time jump to the NHL in recent memory, but coaches and the front office apparently view him as an odd man.

However, there is still a good chance that Pitlick and the others will not be claimed. Frederic allard, Matt Tennyson, Matt Luff and Cole smith joins Pitlick on the trip over for waiver. In all, 22 NHL players went on waivers today:

Pitlick has had a pretty solid preseason thanks to two action games for him. He scored a power play goal against the Florida Panthers and also collected an assist on Egor Afanasyev’s goal in the 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last week.

Losing Pitlick would be unfortunate for the Predators’ prospect pool which has really grown over the past two seasons. A big reason why they have a lot of young attacking talent rising through the ranks, including Pitlick.

Pitlick brings that mix of speed and shooting ability that is really appealing to a Predators side going through some sort of mini rebuild, all the while entering a season where they could end up losing even more core, especially Filip Forsberg.

It is also a testament to the rise of Afanassiev and Philip Tomasino in the ranks of prospects. The two have had exceptional offseason and are pushing for a berth on the NHL’s first night roster.

Then there is also Rocco grimaldi in the mixture, as well as Cody Glass who came via the Ryan ellis Trade. All of these factors make for the tough decision to send Pitlick on waivers and hope he won’t be claimed.

Others who are moving towards exemptions

Allard has been regarded for some time as one of the system’s top defensive prospects. He was drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft, but just couldn’t make that difficult transition from regular time at the AHL level to the NHL.

It would also be a difficult loss to see Smith claim. He’s yet to register a game for the Admirals, but he saw 23 AHL games last season with the Chicago Wolves, scoring five goals and five assists. He also had a pretty solid offseason in the rookie camp.

I would expect the other three players to clear the waivers and go back to the Predators system, however, all it takes is a scout on another team who really likes a certain player and makes that claim.

The season opener is less than two weeks away against the Seattle Kraken, and much remains to be seen on how the starting lineup will evolve. Two more preseason games should settle part of this debate.



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