The Nashville Predators put a surprising name on the waiver wire Sunday, a player that is likely to garner some interest from the Montreal Canadiens: Eeli Tolvanen.
Truth be told, Tolvanen will probably attract a lot of interest around the league, given his skill set and pedigree.
Tolvanen was the 30th overall pick at the 2017 Entry Draft and has shown steady progress ever since, albeit not enough to avoid getting squeezed out of Nashville’s deep lineup.
In 135 games with the Predators, Tolvanen scored 25 goals and added 26 assists.
Placed on NHL waivers today: Eeli Tolvanen (NSH).
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 11, 2022
It’s a surprising decision, and though the Canadiens no longer hold the priority on the waiver wire, Tolvanen does check a lot of boxes when it comes to the type of player Kent Hughes is looking to acquire.
He’s a reclamation project of sorts, although, unlike other players, the 23-year-old is fresh off a relatively healthy season, which saw him score 11 goals and 12 assists in 75 games.
With minimal ice time, Tolvanen has only produced two goals and two assists in 14 games this season, but it’s worth considering how little production the Canadiens generally receive from their bottom six.
Tolvanen has a good first stride which allows him to build up speed rather quickly, not to mention he displays a significant amount of intensity on every shift.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) December 11, 2022
His hockey sense is well above average and he has a fantastic shot that can fool goaltenders if he’s given enough time and space.
Seeing as the Canadiens are dealing with an unfortunate streak of injuries, if Tolvanen clears the teams ahead of the Canadiens on the waiver wire priority list, they’d be wise to take a long look at the possibility of adding him to the roster.
The Canadiens should be able to provide a much healthier environment for his development, especially if they free up minutes by trading some of their veteran forwards such as Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov, Sean Monahan and Joel Armia.