The Nashville Predators have inked one of their new prospects, signing 2020 draft pick Luke Evangelista to a three-year, entry-level contract. The young forward played last season for the London Knights of the OHL and was selected 42nd overall last month.
A pure playmaker, Evangelista climbed up draft boards after exploding from two points in his first year of junior to 61 last season for the Knights, even if he was still considerably behind the team’s other young stars. He finished with a ranking of 39th among North American skaters from NHL Central Scouting but ended up going to the Predators early on in the second round after the team had snatched up top goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov in the first. Evangelista gives the Predators program another top-end forward prospect to build around as they continue their chase for more offense.
Of course, as with any prospect from the OHL, it’s unclear when Evangelista will get back on the ice. The league is targeting a February start but is still debating the idea of playing without body checking, leading some to believe that their prospects would be better off developing overseas. Now that he’s signed, the Predators could potentially send Evangelista to Europe on a loan, but it would seem extremely difficult for a player of his stature and experience to jump into a professional league right now.