Nashville Predators GM David Poile said Monday that at least three players would be called up from Milwaukee by the start of Sunday’s training camp. A report from Dave Boehler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel may be a sign of who will be coming to Nashville to help fill out the roster by the anticipated season start date of Jan. 19:
Nothing has been made official as far as player transactions are concerned, but three players – besides those injured – were not at Milwaukee’s practice today: Jon Blum, Ryan Ellis and Chris Mueller.
Ellis was a lock to be recalled from Milwaukee, as the expectation is he will easily crack the Predators’ top-six on defense and likely play alongside Hal Gill. Ellis has nine points in 20 games with Milwaukee, as he missed the start of the season with a broken wrist.
The Predators need a seventh defenseman, so calling up Blum would not be a surprise. The team could also use a spare depth forward if no signings are made, so Mueller makes sense in that aspect. In 34 games with Milwaukee this season, Blum has 12 points while Mueller has 12 goals and 20 points.
Predators head coach Barry Trotz hinted Tuesday that Milwaukee Admirals forward Austin Watson could get a look in the NHL this season.
“Young guys that we thought may be a little further away have come along,” Trotz said. “Austin Watson, who you thought maybe by the end of the season would be pushing for time, he’s playing extremely well. Taylor Beck and Michael Latta and [Kevin] Henderson are playing very well down there.”
Watson, the Predators’ first round pick in 2010, has 12 goals and 19 points in 34 AHL games this season.
So in short, the safe assumption is that Blum, Ellis and Mueller will be in Predators training camp this weekend.