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May 12, 2014 | 6:44pm ET
Preds focused on drafting scorer
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Predators seem to have a game-plan heading into next month's NHL Draft in Philadelphia, and that appears to be going after a goal-scoring forward.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, developing "an elite-level forward" is high atop the team's priority list this summer.

The Predators have struggled to find top goal-scorers, via the Draft, free agency or trade, over the years, and Preds scout Janne Kekalainen admits that's a hard asset to find.

"That's probably the toughest," Kekalainen told the Tennessean. "If you look at all the forwards in the NHL who are first-line players, who really help you win, probably 90 percent of those were drafted top-five. There are some second-round picks and some late-round picks. It's not a lot.

"Everybody tries to find those guys. But to eventually land an elite forward other than that high (with a top-five pick), it's hard."

Predators GM David Poile will also be exploring other avenues to improve his hockey club this off-season, aside from the Draft.

Nashville has roughly $22 million in available salary cap space, if the cap hits $71.1 million, as projected. With a limited amount of pending free agents to worry about, Poile and his staff plan on making some roster adjustments and could look for a goal-scorer via free agency.

The Predators had also dangled the likes of forward Colin Wilson and defenseman Ryan Ellis this season, and those trade discussions could be revisited around the Draft.


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