Let it be known once and for all that Filip Forsberg is the most irreplaceable skater on the Nashville Predators. Any doubts about this fact prior to Wednesday night’s performance in Chicago should be quickly forgotten.

Forsberg scored twice in the Preds’ 4-3 overtime win over the Blackhawks, including the overtime winner. He was without a doubt the most dangerous player on the ice, creating regular opportunities for himself and his linemates. He finished with two goals on seven shots and a team-best 77% shot attempt for percentage at even strength.

Now I’m not sure you can say he’s the most irreplaceable player on the Predators. That title is reserved for Pekka Rinne. And until Rinne retires or leaves the team, it’s hard to see that changing.

But as far as skaters goes? It’s got to be Forsberg.

Filip Forsberg sees things that no one else sees. He holds the puck longer than anyone else, he dangles in between defenders like no one else. He uses body and stick control like no one else. And of course, he shoots like no one else.

Simply put, Forsberg does things on the ice that no one else on the Predators can do. This makes him impossible to replace.

There are times that Ryan Johansen looks Forsberg-like with his vision and puck handling. And yes, sometimes Viktor Arvidsson has dangles that look like Forsberg. Occasionally Kevin Fiala will flash some offensive skill that looks something like Forsberg.

But no one can put all of these skills together quite like Forsberg.

Take for example the game winning goal in overtime.

First, Forsberg comes over the boards knowing the situation. The Preds have possession in the 3-on-3 overtime and possession means everything in overtime. He gets to the wall and makes himself available to Mattias Ekholm.

Then with Jonathan Toews all over him on the entry, he has to fight through the wall to get to the puck. He does that and even draws a penalty in the process.

Then he just has to beat the goalie, which he’s already done once in the game. He goes top shelf on rookie goalie Colin Delia, who had no chance.

Think about who else on the Preds could make this kind of a play.

Ryan Johansen could probably fight off Toews, but does he have the skate speed to get to the goalie in time to shoot? Probably not.

Viktor Arvidsson has the speed and skill, but with his size he probably gets buried by Toews on the boards. Not him either.

Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, and Mattias Ekholm all have the skills to make one step in this play but can they finish it off with a goal? Not like Forsberg can, they can’t.

Of course, all of those players have their own skills and bring something very important to the lineup for the Predators. Take nothing away from them for what they bring. But pound for pound, Filip Forsberg is the one player whose overall composite and makeup simply can’t be replaced by anyone else on the team.

— Featured image via David Banks/USA TODAY Sports —