Saturday, August 13, 2011
Nashville Predators' forward Jordin Tootoo has been a fan favorite in Nashville since he arrived here. His ferocious hits and physical play are always a noticeable part of any hockey game that he's in. Last year in the Anaheim series, Tootoo showed that he has enough skill to be more of an offensive threat than he normally is in a given regular season. With the upcoming season being the final year left on his contract, will Tootoo raise his offensive game to a new level?
Tootoo went through some personal issues last year, which caused him to miss 28 games during the regular season. It was good for him to take time off and work through those issues. It seems as if he has put his past behind him and has come out a better and stronger man. I think that led to better play on the ice. Towards the end of last year, Tootoo was playing the best hockey of his career.
In the past few seasons, Tootoo has proven that he has the tools necessary to become a more viable offensive option for the Predators. He has the second hardest slapshot on the team, behind Shea Weber. He is a very speedy player, and really has pretty good awareness when he has the puck. However, he needs to work on his puck handling skills. If he gets that down, Tootoo can become a legitimate threat to score 20 goals in a season.
After this season, Tootoo will be an unrestricted free agent. I would imagine that Nashville will try to re-sign him at some point during the year, but more offensive production out of Tootoo could land him a little more money than he would get otherwise. We'll see what kind of role the coaching staff has in mind for Tootoo this year, but Barry Trotz has often said that he wanted to see more offense out of Tootoo. This could be the year that he finally delivers that offensive production.
Posted by Robby Stanley at 2:12 AM