Ekholm broke out offensively last season, potting eight goals to complement 27 assists over a full 82-game schedule. Still, Nashville's assistant coach Phil Housley expects the blueliner to take another step forward in the 2016-17 campaign.
While it's not clear if Ekholm will join celebrated newcomer P.K. Subban to form the first defensive pair, the smooth-skating Swede is almost assuredly set for a top-four role with a Predators team that averaged the fewest shots against in the NHL last year (27.3 per game). A fourth-round draft choice in 2009, Eklholm earns his keep in fantasy leagues due to his ability to move the puck for scores, plus he's posted shooting percentages of 8.1 and 7.0, respectively, over the last two seasons. Ekholm is in the thick of his prime at the age of 26 and deserves consideration in the vast majority of league formats.
Carle signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Predators on Wednesday, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports.
Carle was Tampa Bay's highest-paid defenseman last season, but only tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) while averaging 16:47 of ice time over 59 games, prompting the Bolts to buy out the Alaska native's bloated contract in June. Carle will slot into a limited role with the Predators in 2016-17, and may ultimately watch a majority of the team's contests from the press box as a healthy scratch.
Jarnkrok and the Predators were scheduled for an arbitration hearing, however the two sides reach a settlement. At an annual average value of just $2 million, this is a good signing for the Preds, as they get a 24-year-old coming off his first 30-point season at a relatively discounted rate. The center's fantasy upside is hurt slightly by his lack of ice time with the man advantage, but he does have the upside to earn power-play minutes in the long run.
Granberg appeares in 27 games with the Predators last season, tallying just two assists while averaging 13:43 of ice time over that span. The 23-year-old blueliner will hope to secure a bottom-pairing role with the Predators in September's training camp, but may begin the season as the team's seventh defenseman behind Yannick Weber and Anthony Bitetto.
Liambas returns to the