Already producing one of the most interesting free-agency tactics by any team so far this offseason, the Nashville Predators continue to add depth to their lineup. This time, the team announced a one-year, $850K contract for forward Denis Gurianov.
Nashville should be very familiar with what Gurianov brings to the table, as he previously skated with the team's division rival, the Dallas Stars, for the last six seasons. Struggling in Dallas last year, the team shipped Gurianov to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Evgenii Dadonov.
It wasn’t that long ago that Gurianov was considered one of the top prospects in the Stars organization, as he was drafted 12th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. Taking a couple of seasons to crack the NHL roster, Gurianov strung together three solid seasons in Dallas, scoring 43 goals and 47 assists in 192 games between 2019-2022.
Unfortunately, the production didn’t ramp up at all during the 2022-23 season, and Gurianov saw his ice time slashed by the Stars, losing about two minutes on average with time on ice. After the trade to Montreal, Gurianov had a much larger opportunity on offense, as he was able to get around 15 minutes a night with the Canadiens. In his small sample size in Quebec, Gurianov scored eight points in 23 games.
Now transitioning back to the NHL’s Central Division, Gurianov should once again have plenty of opportunity in Nashville. Given how the team’s roster is currently constructed, Gurianov should have no problem slotting in to the team’s middle six.