Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/7/13

OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 21: 38th overall pick, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators poses for a portrait at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place on June 21, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)
Wanted: a smooth-skating puck-moving defenseman to complement captain Shea Weber on the top defensive pair. With the announcement that Roman Josi — who plays the left side with Weber — suffered a concussion during Friday’s game at Colorado the Predators must find a way to replace his two-way skill-set. “Injuries happen. No team goes without them for the full year” defenseman Kevin Klein said. “We just hope he can get back and be better as soon as possible. We’ll fill in and make changes.” Weber did not practice Sunday after deciding to take what the team called a “maintenance day” so there were no stable defensive pairings. But an interesting possibility would be to put rookie Seth Jones with Weber. Jones was just as good as Weber in the first two games both losses. And though he plays the right side he showed the ability to shift to the left after Josi’s injury. Bring up his name to management and coaches and they gush about not just his potential but also about his ability to play at a high level right now as a 19-year-old rookie. “We’re going to step up in different ways” Klein said. “Guys are going to have to do different things and (Josi) plays in every situation. We do need guys to play a little bit out of their element at times.” Josi’s concussion is his first officially announced by the Predators. But he had two prior upper-body injuries while playing in North America one with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League and one with the Predators both during the 2011-12 season. “You’re always worried when a guy is hurt” coach Barry Trotz. “But at the same time it’s the next-man-up mentality you have to have.” The next man up in this case is Ryan Ellis. A first-round pick in 2009 Ellis has had an up-and-down pro career after a record-breaking career as a junior. The offense-minded defenseman has just 17 points in 64 NHL games. “I’ve been waiting all summer to get back at it. It’s unfortunate what happened to Josi. It’s tough but that’s when people have to step up” Ellis said. “Hopefully I can get in there and make a difference.”
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