14 points in 15 games. That’s how David Legwand has started the season for the Nashville Predators. As the 33 year old centerman continues to pace his team, the Predators are enjoying his near point-per-game production while in the midst of a season-long seven game road trip that spans two countries and over 6,000 miles of travel.
What’s hidden amongst his amazing early-season production, though, is how he stands amongst his fellow countrymen. This season may be a contract year for the Predators, but it’s also an Olympic season as well with festivities kicking off in Sochi in just about three months. With long-time Nashville Predators general manager David Poile at the helm of Team USA as well, could there be a chance that David Legwand receives a phone call when they make their selections?
It’s safe to say that if Legwand continues on his current pace, he’s definitely going to be on Poile’s Team USA radar. The Detroit-born former first round selection’s 14 points are good for eighth among all USA-born skaters in the NHL, fourth among all American-born centers. The current top ten among American players is fairly strong with some easily recognizable names:
Kyle Okposo – NYI, Right Winger: 5 goals, 14 assists (19 points) in 16 games
Phil Kessel – TOR, Center: 9 goals, 9 assists (18 points) in 15 games
Bobby Ryan – OTT, Right Winger: 9 goals, 9 assists (18 points) in 16 games
Joe Pavelski – SJS, Center: 6 goals, 11 assists (17 points) in 16 games
Zach Parise – MIN, Left Winger: 8 goals, 7 assists (15 points) in 17 games
David Backes – STL, Center: 6 goals, 9 assists (15 points) in 14 games
Patrick Kane – CHI, Right Winger: 9 goals, 5 assists (14 points) in 16 games
David Legwand – NSH, Center: 4 goals, 10 assists (14 points) in 15 games
Jason Pominville – MIN, Right Winger: 10 goals, 3 assists (13 points) in 17 games
Ryan Kesler – VAN, Center: 9 goals, 4 assists (13 points) in 18 games
David Legwand is no stranger to playing for his country, either. While never participating in any Olympic play, Legwand was a mainstay for Team USA in the World Junior Championships and the World Championships between 1997 and 2005. Making appearances in the ’97-’98 and ’98-’99 World Junior Championships while participating in the ’98-’99, ’99-’00, ’00-’01, and ’04-’05 World Championships, Legwand has four goals and 11 assists in his 41 total games for Team USA. His best performance came during the 2000-2001 World Championships where he registered two goals and four assists in nine games. He’s on pace for 76 points this season, which would be a career best in the NHL. His highest point total in his career was 63 points back in the 2006-2007 season.
Legwand’s stats are there, his attitude seems to be there, and he’s playing some of the best hockey of his entire career. While the sexy options at center for Team USA lie with players like Kesler, Pavelski, and Backes, who all were on the 2010 Olympic roster that brought home the silver medal, Legwand offers an interesting twist into the dynamic for the Sochi roster if he’s tapped to don the red, white, and blue.
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