He did it with Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Viktor Arvidsson, Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons.
Now, Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile has done it again with Eeli Tolvanen, re-signing the 22-year-old forward to a three-year, $4.35 million contract ($1.45 million per year).
While Poile may overpay his centers, he has traditionally been able to lock up most of his other younger plays at bargain prices. At one point, he signed Josi for $4 million per season, Ryan Ellis for $2.5 million, Jarnkrok for $2 million, Arvidsson for $4.25 million and Ekholm is in the final year of a six-year deal that paid him just $3.75 million per year.
“[Tolvanen] looks like he can be an elite player on the power play with his shot and his ability to score goals, which we need very much,” Poile said in June. “…Again, in terms of what I see for the future of our team, I’m willing to bet [Tolvanen] is going to be a big player in our future.
“He could be a big answer [to needing a scoring forward] because he has the potential to score. Everything is going in the right direction, and he needs to have a good summer of conditioning to get ready and put in a good spot coming back in training camp.”
Tolvanen had the third-most goals on the Predators (11) and led the team in power play goals (six) and game-winning goals (four) while ranking third in power play points (12). His 22 points were the most scored by a Predators rookie since Filip Forsberg’s 63 points during the 2014-15 season.
Among rookies, Tolvanen had the 10th-most points, and he was tied for the seventh-most goals, while ranking second in power play goals and third in power play points. He even earned some votes for the Calder Trophy.
Tolvanen is expected to have a full-time role in Nashville’s top six and on the first power play unit next season.
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