Eeli Tolvanen and Cody Glass make big statements in Prague
The Nashville Predators opened their season in a unique way by playing two games against the San Jose Sharks in Prague, Czech Republic. They came away with two wins, the first ending 4-1 and the other being a much closer contest ending 3-2. Now that we’re days away from the competitions, there are two players I’d like to focus on and how their performances should inspire everyone to know the potential outcome.
During those international games, we got to see the kind of lines that head coach John Hynes believed to be the most efficient and effective, and we got to see those players readapting to the rhythm of an NHL game. Many Predators fans focused on two players: Cody Glass and Eeli Tolvanen, who played their minutes on the fourth line with Cole Smith. The two made massive statements coming out of training camp, hoping to prove in their own way that they deserved to be there.
With the NHL reporting on the Predators in their Behind The Glass documentary series posted on Youtube and streaming on NHL Network, we can get a glimpse of what the thought process behind real-world decisions looks like in a front office. One of the most heartwarming things a hockey fan can watch is the video of Glass being told he sent the team to Prague. Tears streamed down her face; he laughed a little and thanked coach Hynes and general manager David Poile for giving him the opportunity after a tumultuous start to his young career. He’s made it his mission to prove to the organization’s leaders that he’s ready to take the big step after lighting him up with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League in 2021-22 following injuries. which prevented him from playing the previous season.
As for Tolvanen, his story is different. After enjoying an above-average rookie season that ended up being delayed by an unfortunate injury, he dropped into the scoring department in 2021-22. He scored just 11 goals and 23 points in 75 games, playing most of his time with Luke Kunin and Ryan Johansen.
Thankfully, the final season has passed and Tolvanen has started 2022-23 with a bang. He eventually moved to the second line with Johansen and Niederreiter, but he also had some great plays on the fourth line. He continued to forecheck well and hit hard, something he focused on very heavily last season, but he also made a lot of smart plays with and without the puck, which some say he lacked. last year. Nonetheless, he made a big statement on the road, and the hope is that he can continue to look like a player who can make a serious impact in the Predators’ top six.
The Predators list is a traffic jam. There are plenty of players fighting for the last spot on the roster, so those kinds of performances should be a big confidence boost for the young guns. With Tolvanen in particular, we know the kind of things he can bring. He showed it to us in his rookie season. Everything from solid passing with a wicked shot from his outside side was on display in Prague, and fans should be excited about the kind of season Tolvanen could potentially have.
These two games were the first step in a long season that will inevitably be full of twists and turns, especially for the young players. However, if Glass and Tolvanen can continue to find their place in the Predators’ roster, there should be no doubt that they can be big contributors to the Predators’ success in 2022-23.