The Nashville Predators had a feeling they found a gem in Filip Forsberg when they traded Martin Erat for him in 2013, but they had no idea what they would be in for during the 2014-15 season.
Forsberg’s Burst From Last Year
The winger was a beast almost all season, something few saw coming. Little did anyone know what would transpire during the first half of last season.
For the longest time, Forsberg was actually around a point a game, developing quick chemistry with Mike Ribeiro and James Neal. The rookie was able to even persevere during the team’s severe slump. The numbers are quite impressive.
- 26 goals, 37 assists, 63 points. 19 power play points, 237 shots, 471 shot attempts.
Something to note was that Forsberg’s PDO was around 105 at one point last year and slid back to 100. It does not mean much, but the second half featured some unlucky moments (95.5 over the final 40 games).
His possession metrics were around six percent above the team relative which was quite astonishing as well. He had a ton of offensive zone starts to take advantage of (around 70 percent) in 2014-15. Forsberg finished fourth in the Calder voting for best rookie and you could have made the case for him even winning the award. He was that good.
So naturally going into 2015-16, fantasy magazines had the winger experiencing somewhat of a drop-off.
Sophomore Forsberg Just Fine, Thank You!
Again small sample sizes are what they are, but even in the preseason the winger looked great. His six points in the first seven regular season games are excellent, but now he is carrying possession at ridiculous rates along with generating more high danger chances. The most important thing is he is still taking his shots (6.5 shot attempts per game). That number is slightly higher than 2014-15.
Nashville fans have been lucky to see a player of Forsberg’s talent and there are not only no signs of stopping but it seems the winger is speeding up.
Consider that Forsberg plays with Mike Fisher (sometimes Mike Ribeiro) and James Neal. Neal has multiple points in four straight games. It is not a secret that the winger has been a major catalyst in the red-hot play of that line. Peter Laviolette has mentioned he is giving him more minutes this year because he has done an incredible job defensively as well as offensively.
A few fantasy burning questions…
Will the winger see nearly 19 minutes per night from here on out? He should. Will Forsberg hit the net more? He only has 11 shots on 39 attempts in the early going. That is less than 30 percent.
Some things will regress to the mean but if Forsberg does hit the net more, does he hit 30 goals this year? Projections suggest he will come awfully close. Nashville tends to have spurts where they flat line and that may keep him from hitting that plateau.
Lastly, what will Forsberg’s ultimate scoring arc look like for the Predators? There could be 75-80+ point seasons in his prime.
It will be a fun ride to see what the Swedish superstar in the making does next for fantasy owners.