David Poile made a huge splash with the off-season acquisition of P.K. Subban, but his January trade to land Ryan Johansen for the Nashville Predators could also pay huge dividends this season.
“We have high expectations for Ryan,” noted the general manager during a Thursday evening appearance on NHL Network. “He’s had an excellent summer. He’s in good shape. He’s been in Nashville for awhile. I think all of the things that could have gone wrong did go wrong for him last year; especially in Columbus, which led up to the trade to the Predators.
“I just repeat – We have high expectations in terms of individual performance, goals, points. He needs to be our leading scorer and put up some big numbers. I think he’s coming into his prime. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have a really, really good season this year.”
This echoes comments made by Poile in mid-August, when he joined Toronto’s SiriusXMNHL.
“I think Ryan is going to have his best year ever in the National Hockey League,” Poile said then. “I mean, that’s probably a lot of pressure and I guess a challenge. A lot of things happened, if you will, for him to be available in the first place and for him to be traded from Columbus to us and it was a huge trade when we traded Seth Jones for Ryan.
“But he is a No. 1 center and I would say, with all due respect, he had an off-year last year and this year his conditioning is terrific. His off-season has been really good. He’s going to be in Nashville at the end of this week in preparation for the season and I expect him to have the best year of his career.”
Source: NHL Network/ Transcript: Nichols