In the 11th hour of Wednesday’s NHL Trade Deadline, the Nashville Predators added some forward depth by acquiring P.A. Parenteau from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a sixth round pick in this summer’s Draft.
The Hull, Quebec native tallied 27 points in 59 games for New Jersey this season prior to the deal but is a two-time 20-goal scorer and has scored at least 40 points four different times.
His best years seem to come in a New York Islanders sweater when he posted 120 points in the 161 games he played in orange and blue. He was, however, nearly a point-per-game player in the lockout-shortened 2013 season when he registered 43 points in 48 games with the Colorado Avalanche. Since then he’s been hit-or-miss.
With the addition of Parenteau, however, it means someone in the current lineup will have to sit. Who that will be remains to be seen but prime candidates are Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith, both for different reasons. Fiala, 20, can still be reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL without having to clear waivers and Smith has just three goals and one assist in the calendar year of 2017 (26 games).
After an injury-plagued year with Colorado in 2013-14, Parenteau moved onto the Montreal Canadiens and posted just eight goals and 22 points before moving on once again to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015-16 where he was the team’s top goal scorer (20) and ranked second in team scoring (41 points). This season, however, his 27 points in 59 games harkens back to his average years in the League. The saving grace? New Jersey isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Having scored just 145 goals, they have the worst offense in the Eastern Conference and they’re tied for the League’s second-worst offense. For contrast, Nashville has scored 188 goals this season, good for third in the West.
In short, skating with a playoff team might be just what Parenteau needs to rediscover his scoring touch.
A sixth round pick isn’t a lot to give up to take a flier on a guy like Parenteau. According to CapFriendly, he’s currently on a one-year deal with a cap hit of $1.25 million, which is more than reasonable. And while the Predators have had some success with late round picks in their history — Anthony Bitetto (6th rd, 2010), Patric Hornqvist (7th rd, 2005), Pekka Rinne (8th rd, 2004) and Martin Erat (7th rd, 1999) — the odds of drafting an eventual NHL player in the sixth round are slim at best. Therefore, Poile and the Predators did well in using what will probably be a future career minor league player in order to get a piece with offensive upside that can help the cause this year.
The right winger got hurt blocking a shot against the New York Rangers on February 25 and won’t play for a few games but the way the Predators are playing right now, he can afford to get healthy before donning his fifth different sweater since 2014. Nashville is 5-0-1 in their last six and have scored at least four goals in every one of those contests.
With his 27 points this season, Parenteau comes onto Nashville tied with Colin Wilson for ninth in team scoring.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ed Mulholland