Leading up to the lockout-shortened season, we will be providing 2012-13 previews for each player. In no specific order, we continue with Roman Josi today…
Roman Josi made his NHL debut with the Predators on Nov. 26, 2011 against the Detroit Red Wings and stayed in Nashville for the remainder of the season. In his first NHL season, Josi demonstrated the ability to potentially become a star at the NHL level.
Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable strength in Josi’s game was the ability to move the puck well and take it coast-to-coast down the ice. Josi made some glaring rookie mistakes defensively, but showed improvement as the season progressed. He finished the season with five goals and 16 points, and was plus-1 with 18:23 of average ice time per game.
Josi’s first year in the NHL provided him with a dose of playoff experience that could prove beneficial down the road. He struggled in the Phoenix series and was caught out of position several different times. It’s something the 22-year-old Swiss defenseman can learn from moving forward.
Josi left for Europe in September and joined SC Bern of Switzerland. Josi tallied six goals and 11 assists in 26 games.
Josi will be one of the biggest keys in determining Nashville’s success this season. He will likely be paired with Shea Weber, taking the place of world-class defenseman Ryan Suter. If Josi is able to evolve offensively and drastically improve defensively as the season progresses, the Predators should have a pretty solid defense corps. However, with a shortened season, Josi will be thrown into the fire early, and the Predators cannot afford to fall behind because of that.
The Predators are putting a lot on Josi’s shoulders this year. Will he be up for the challenge? We will see.