Every team needs foot soldiers as well as stars, and Nick Spaling has endeared himself to Preds fans in recent years with his hard-working approach to penalty killing. Will the rise of other young forwards threaten his future in Nashville, however?

Nick Spaling

#13 / Center / Nashville Predators

Height: 6-1

Weight: 198

Born: Sep 19, 1988

Last Season

In his second full NHL campaign, Spaling continued to carve out a role for himself as Barry Trotz's utility forward, capable of centering the third line, skating on the wing as needed, and playing a key role on the penalty kill. New highs were set in goals and assists, and his ice time took a significant jump as well, up almost two full minutes per game over 2010-2011.

While not a major offensive force, his hustle can help create key goals, as we saw in the playoffs against Detroit: