3 years on, Forsberg trade a franchise-changer for the Predators

Patrick McDermott / National Hockey League / Getty

On April 3, 2013, the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals pulled off a trade that the hockey world might not have believed if they'd announced it two days earlier.

The Predators acquired forward Filip Forsberg from the Capitals in exchange for a package including Martin Erat and Michael Latta.

The deal was a head-shaker at the time, even as then-Capitals general manager George McPhee made it clear he wanted to help his team win now: Why would the Capitals give up on such a talented prospect before he'd even seen NHL ice?

Predators GM David Poile, meanwhile, appeared to have a more accurate forecast of what the young Forsberg could become.

"In Filip Forsberg, we are adding one of the top-rated young forwards in the world; we are excited to have him join our other emerging young talent and solid veterans at the position," Poile said.

The writing was on the wall once the Capitals packed their bags after being eliminated from the 2013 playoffs by the New York Rangers. Erat had failed to show up, providing the team with just one goal and three points in nine regular-season games down the stretch and going pointless in the only four postseason games he participated in.

Forsberg, on the other hand, underwent an incubating period with the Predators and finally burst onto the scene last season, proving to be exactly as Poile had claimed two years prior.

As a 20-year-old, Forsberg put up 26 goals and 63 points in 82 games, finishing third in rookie scoring while adding another six points in six playoff games.

In nearly poetic fashion, Forsberg finished just a point shy of doubling the point production of Erat. The veteran would finish his final season in the NHL with nine goals and 32 points in 79 games with the Arizona Coyotes.

On Monday, Forsberg became the youngest European to hit the 30-goal mark since Evgeni Malkin and Anze Kopitar did so during the 2007-08 season.

He is on pace to lead the Predators in goals and points for the second straight season. Meanwhile, he sits just three goals away from matching the franchise's single-season record.

Forsberg is an incredible talent who, just two seasons in, already appears destined to hit marks unseen by the Predators. There's no question he's become one of the league's elite talents and and is quickly becoming the face of the franchise - a franchise that changed its future by acquiring him.

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3 years on, Forsberg trade a franchise-changer for the Predators
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