25-Year-Old Defenseman – Nashville Predators
Roman Josi Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $28 million extension with Nashville in June 2013.
Josi played through a broken finger in the regular season and a broken nose in the playoffs, Robby Stanley of NHL.com reports.
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Roman Josi: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Last season, in the wake of fellow blueliner Ryan Suterís departure, Josi was promoted to the top defensive pairing alongside Shea Weber and responded with a career-best 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) in 72 games. Josi was given much more on-ice responsibility last season and finished just behind Weber in total ice time, averaging 26:25 per game, or roughly three minutes more than the previous season (23:31). He was also a staple on the Predsí power play, where he racked up 13 points and averaged 3:05 per game in ice time. This season, Josiís emergence as a strong two-way defenseman should continue, helped along by the Predsí stronger, deeper lineup. Feel free to target Josi in the middle-to-later rounds of your draft, especially in those formats with positional requirements.
Josi re-signed with the Predators in June after skating in all 48 games last season, logging an average of 23:32 of ice time on the team's first defensive pairing alongside Shea Weber. He recorded 13 assists and five goals on the year, and should remain a top-four blue line option for the Preds this season. At just 23, Josi is still learning the ropes, but by signing him to a seven-year, $28 million contract, the Preds are clearly putting a lot of faith in him. A 35 to 40 point season could be within his reach.
Josi opens the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with some lofty expectations on him - namely, he is being tabbed by coach Barry Trotz as the guy who will take over for the recently departed Ryan Suter on the Preds' blue line this season. Trotz will be looking to Josi to skate with All-Star defenseman Shea Weber in even-strength situations, meaning Josi could see a big bump in his average ice time of just over 18 minutes per game last season. He could represent a great late-round steal in your fantasy drafts this season - adjust your picksheets accordingly.
Josi, 19, was Nashville's second-round pick (38th overall) in 2008, and helped his hometown SC Bern (Switzerland) to regular season and playoff titles last season. At 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, he has good size and plays with a high level of confidence. He has a good shot, an accurate pass and makes smart decisions under pressure. The Preds' blue line is fairly well-stocked at the moment, but Josi is someone who could crack the lineup in another season or two.
The Swiss prospect blueliner is a capable defender with some offensive up side. Just 18-years-old, Josi has spent the last few seasons playing with the juniors in Switzerland. He posted two goals and six assist in 35 games with SC Bern last season and will likely spend another season there sharpening his skills.