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Predators' Poile: Waiving Tolvanen 'could be a mistake on our part'

Matt Zambonin / National Hockey League / Getty

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile acknowledged that the organization's decision to waive Eeli Tolvanen could be a misstep as the winger continues to light it up with the Seattle Kraken.

"Did we give him enough opportunities? Should we have played him higher? Time will tell," Poile said Tuesday during an appearance on 102.5 The Game. "Seattle's a team that plays a little bit differently than us. They really rotate almost their four lines equally, and offensively they put him in a position higher than we have.

"This could be a mistake on our part. That's on me if he turns out to be really successful, but we thought we tried him in a lot of different areas, different places."

The Predators placed Tolvanen on waivers on Dec. 11, and the Kraken scooped him up the following day.

Tolvanen, 23, logged two goals and two assists in 13 games with Nashville this campaign. He didn't debut for Seattle until Jan. 1, but early returns indicate he's a great fit. Tolvanen has five points in five contests while donning his new threads, and his three tallies with the Kraken would put him on pace for 49 goals over an 82-game season.

The Finn is suiting up for 12:32 of ice time per contest in Seattle, comparable to his average playing time in Nashville this season. However, Tolvanen failed to crack the 11-minute mark in five of his last six games as a Predator.

Poile said he didn't want to lose Tolvanen and that the organization hoped he'd spend time with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.

"We had to make some decisions. We were not going anywhere," he said. "He's doing well, great for him, and we've been doing better - not necessarily because of him, but because we've made a decision to go another direction with different types of players."

The Predators selected Tolvanen 30th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. He was a highly touted prospect lauded for his scoring ability but never fully emerged in Nashville. Tolvanen ended his tenure in the Music City with 25 goals and 26 assists in 135 contests.

Tolvanen will get a chance to take on his former team when the Kraken visit the Predators for a pair of games on March 23 and 25.

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