The Nashville Predators announced today that they’ve signed defenseman David Farrance to a two-year, entry-level contract. This signing came one day after Farrance’s Boston University Terriers lost in the first round of the men’s hockey NCAA tournament to St. Cloud State.
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has signed defenseman David Farrance to a two-year, entry-level contract.https://t.co/0PqDbxd9eX
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 28, 2021
While entry-level contracts are normally three years, Farrance’s deal is only two years because of his age. As On The Future explains here, Farrance will turn 22 before September 15th, mandating a two-year ELC according to the CBA.
But length of the contract aside, the real benefit of this signing is what it brings to the Predators in the short term.
Farrance provides skill, youth, and peace of mind
First, David Farrance is an outstanding young defenseman. Drafted by the Predators in the 3rd round of the 2017 NHL Draft, Farrance quickly blossomed into a productive defenseman for Boston University. He put up 88 points in 113 games for the Terriers, leading them to the NCAA tourney ever year of his career.
Farrance is an offensive-minded defenseman who skates well, has great attacking instincts, and is very coachable at both ends of the ice.
Eric Dunay, who covers prospects for On The Forecheck, had this to say about Farrance a few weeks ago:
“Farrance’s offensive skills are no secret, and it’s obvious why Nashville thinks he’s close to NHL-ready. There are plenty of pro defenders who cannot move the puck as he can, and I don’t think his defensive lapses are an immediate reason to be concerned. They happen, and they’re coachable. I think it’s important to see areas of the game Farrance has really improved on in college and what can still be worked on.”
Eric went on to say that “David Farrance has the potential to be an everyday, top-four defender in the NHL,” which puts him in very good company on the Nashville Predators. Dante Fabbro had similar expectations and is now playing top-four minutes for the Predators every night.
The Predators have had plenty of injuries on their blueline. Ryan Ellis might be out for the season, Mark Borowiekci has been injured most of the year, and Roman Josi just came back from an extended stay on injured reserve.
Adding a 22-year-old defenseman with high upside and skill to the defense can only help the Preds at this point. Farrance would probably push someone like Ben Harpur out of the lineup, or give Matt Benning some pressure for his job.
It would be unrealistic to expect Farrance to do too much in his first season, but you never know.
Probably the best thing about this signing? At least for David Poile, it’s a huge sigh of relief. Farrance eschewing a shot at the 2020-21 roster for his senior season at BU had many fans seeing visions of Jimmy Vesey back in 2016. Vesey infamously waited out the Predators, opting to sign with the New York Rangers instead of the team that drafted him.
Some thought Farrance might elect to do the same thing.
Importance of Farrance signing can’t be overstated; it affects several other decisions. E.g, does this make Poile more likely to deal Ekholm/d-man? Does it change x-draft strategy? 2021 draft mindset?
Knowing you have an asset under control–and can’t lose it–is huge.#Preds
— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) March 28, 2021
But he didn’t, and now the Predators have a much clearer picture about their short term situation. Maybe even their long-term future as well.
Does David Poile feel more comfortable dealing Mattias Ekholm now? Does their strategy around the Seattle expansion draft change? Do they have a different mindset going into the 2021 Draft now?
Plenty to consider.
Now that David Farrance has signed, the Nashville Predators’ future is a little bit better.
— Featured image via Nashville Predators dot com —