It may be the dog days of the summer at the moment, but the Nashville Predators are still hard at work.
The Predators locked in one of their talented young forwards on Monday evening, agreeing to terms with Eeli Tolvanen on a three-year extension worth an average annual value of $1.45 million.
Tolvanen, who was drafted by the Predators in the first round back in 2017, is now set to stay in Nashville through the 2023-24 season.
Frankly, this is an extremely puzzling player to evaluate.
Tolvanen has proven to be a relatively one-dimensional player in his lone season of full-time NHL duty, acting as a lethal power play option when operating from the top of the left circle, and, well, not much else. The 22-year-old only just became a full-time big leaguer in 2021 after appearing for brief cameos with the Predators in both the prior two years, racking up 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 40 games.
To illustrate how much the power play influences his production, a whopping 12 of those points (six goals and six assists) came on the man advantage, with Tolvanen proving to be a relatively low-impact player at 5v5 through his limited experience thus far.
Still, Tolvanen has miles of runway down which to grow in the years to come.
On a team like the Predators, whose offensive struggles have been their downfall for as long as memory serves, Tolvanen can fill a vital role for them during their current period of transition. And even if he ultimately can't -- which doesn't seem to be the case at this point, mind you -- a $1.45 million cap hit is easily stomachable, even in today's cap-strapped climate.
Given the three-year term and minimal financial risk, this is some tidy business by the Predators. Now it's up to Tolvanen to make it a steal.