Who do the experts see the Preds taking in the first round on Friday?

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville
Who do the experts see the Preds taking in the first round on Friday?

The National Hockey League will embark on the city of Buffalo, New York this weekend for the 2016 NHL Draft. The Nashville Predators are currently picking #17 overall on Friday night with six picks to follow on Saturday in rounds two through seven.

Experts have started releasing their mock drafts in preparation for this Friday’s festivities and below is a summary of where they think the Preds will go when they take the podium at approximately 7:45pm Central. Be sure to stay tuned to 102.5 the Game all weekend long as Pete Weber and Jeremy K. Gover will both be filing reports live from First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

Brandon Ross, TheScout.ca Director of Scouting
Jake Bean, D, Calgary Hitmen
“Preds go with best defender available & (if) Bean’s there, he’ll be a great get. Undrafted WHL stud D will be a good pro.”

Chris Peters, CBS Sports
Charlie McAvoy, D, Boston University (NCAA)
“McAvoy seems like a prototypical Nashville-type player. Reliable and mature on the back end, McAvoy played a substantial role for Boston University as a true freshman last year. He moves the puck well, but also does a great job of taking care of his own end. His poise in his first year of college hockey really stands out.”

Kyle Woodlief, USA Today
Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo Force (USHL)
“He is 6-5 and has the kind of size/skill combination every team is searching for. The Preds have some top scorers with the big club, but could use a couple more in their pipeline.”

Mike Morreale, NHL.com
Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
“Fabbro (6-0, 192) was named the top defenseman in the BCHL after he led the league’s defenders with 67 points and was second with 14 goals. He’s committed to Boston University in 2016-17.”

Adam Kimelman, NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
“With the trade of Seth Jones on Jan. 6 and Shea Weber turning 31 in August, it’s a good time to start adding some organizational depth on defense. They’ll be able to wait for Fabbro (6-0, 192) to mature at Boston University, where he’s scheduled to start in the fall. He had 67 points in 45 games, and scouts also like his defensive awareness and ability to read the play.”

Joe Haggerty, CSNNE.com
Jake Bean, D, Calgary Hitman (WHL)
“He probably needs to eat a few more steaks and hamburgers at a slender 6-foot, 173-pounds, but the talented Bean can skate and move the puck with some creative flash. He’s also the best finisher among the defensemen in this year’s draft, and that counts for something. His legitimately dangerous point shot will create offense on the power play, and it should be a trademark NHL weapon as long as he keep getting bigger and stronger while moving up the ranks. He’s one of those players that’s got an uncanny way of getting pucks through traffic, and those D-men are worth their weight in gold at the NHL level. The drafting of Bean would allow the Predators to replenish their young D-men supply after dealing away Seth Jones last season, but the one question is whether Calgary will be tempted to take him early given that Bean’s dad is the Flames COO.”

Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
“Slightly undersized, but extremely intelligent with the puck. Can move it with his feet or great first pass.”

Jacob Stoller, Dump ‘n Chase
Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d’Or Foreurs
“Gauthier is a pretty good replacement for the likely departed Jimmy Vesey. Didnt put up eye popping numbers in juniors but size and intangibles make him a worthy investment.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua

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