For the second time in the last two weeks, the Nashville Predators were in attendance to watch the Philadelphia Flyers farm team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. This time, while on the road & with two scouts.
Today in Hershey, Nashville has TWO representatives scouting a Phantoms (PHI) road game.
Here @InsideAHLHockey, we first reported on Nashville's sudden interest in having a scout at #LVPhantoms home games.
Are talks between #Flyers/#Preds intensifying? https://t.co/90eG9uOIkr
— Tony Androckitis (@TonyAndrock) March 14, 2021
On February 27th, the Predators first sent a scout to watch the Phantoms in Allentown. Which caught the eye of Inside AHL Hockey & AHL expert Tony Androckitis.
If anything is happening in the AHL, Tony is the guy to know what is going on. Especially, for the Phantoms, the Flyers farm team.
Now, after scouting the Phantoms for the 2nd time in past two weeks, it seems some clarity is starting to present itself.
With the unusual visit, it is hard to believe the Predators went just to see the game. If the Predators sent someone to a Phantoms game, which according to Tony is very rare for Nashville, they were looking at a specify player.
In the two games with Predators scouts in attendance, only five Flyers prospects played in both games. Those five are D Egor Zamula, D Linus Hogberg, D Wyatte Wylie, F Zayde Wisdom, & F David Kase.
According to reports, the Predators are looking for young left-handed defenseman in a potential package back for Mattias Ekholm. Which fits the bill of two high-praised prospects they scouted in both games, Zamula & Hogberg.
With Ryan Ellis, Dante Fabbro, & a plethora of right handed prospects, the Predators need help on the left side behind Roman Josi. Which seems to be the main focus point in trade talks. Especially with Shayne Gostisbehere, another left-handed defenseman, being brought up as well.
For the Flyers, Linus Hogberg is replaceable & easily movable. Egor Zamula, on the other hand, would be a hard ask for the Predators. Unless, the package coming back is more than Mattias Ekholm.
With the Predators doing this much research & scouting of the Flyers farm system, there is potential for a bigger deal. Not just for Mattias Ekholm.
On Wednesday, Anthony SanFilippo of Crossing Broad on his podcast, Snow The Goalie, reported the Flyers were interested in Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson.
If the Flyers made a deal with the Predators for Ekholm & Arvidsson, it would explain Nashville’s interest in scouting Phantoms games. Especially with any potential deal having to involve a contract or two from the Flyers current roster.
Could Shayne Gostisbehere, Linus Hogberg, & 2021 1st round pick be a good starting package for Mattias Ekholm & Victor Arvidsson?
While it still remains to be seen if Flyers will make a deal, the ground work has been laid for a potential deal.
PHOTO CREDIT : Len Redkoles – Getty Images