NASHVILLE, TN—Viktor Arvidsson, 24, of the Nashville Predators was able to avoid an arbitration hearing on Saturday, July 22 by agreeing to a seven-year, $29.75 million contract extension (averaging $4.25 million per year) with the Preds prior to the ruling (which was held in Toronto).
Last season, Arvidsson tallied 61 points (31 goals and 30 assists) which tied him for first on the Preds with center Ryan Johansen. With his 31 goals, he was neck and neck on the team with center Austin Watson. He nearly quadrupled his number of points collected from the previous season, during which he had 16. The 45-point difference trailed behind that of Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (a 48 point increase—52 to 100) for the second highest increase in the NHL.
Arvidsson hails from Skellefteå, Sweden where he was known as “The Woodpecker from Kusmark,” courtesy of the Skelleftea AIK General Manager, Lasse Johanson. Arvidsson spent five seasons with Skelleftea (beginning in 2009), alternating between Sweden’s Elitserien (which translates to “the Elite League” and consists of numerous sports outside of hockey) and J20 SuperElit leagues.
Arvidsson is 5 feet and 9 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, and was selected 112th overall by Nashville at the 2014 NHL Draft. He would enter his rookie season with the Preds that year, and was called up to six NHL games while playing for the Milwaulkee Admirals (Nashville’s affiliate) of the AHL. With the Admirals, he appeared in 70 games and posted 55 points (22 goals and 33 assists), 43 penalty minutes, and a plus-1 rating. The following season (from 2015-2016), Arvidsson continued playing for Milwaulkee, but appeared in over three times as many NHL games (56) than AHL (17).
On the power play, Arvidsson posted 13 points (which consisted of four goals). He also exceeded the league in shorthanded goals with five and shorthanded points with seven. In 22 playoff games, he ranked second in game winning goals behind Filip Forsberg (who had nine). With a plus-16 rating, he trailed behind the number-one ranked Ryan Ellis (plus-17). Additionally, he collected 13 points (three goals and 10 assists) in the Preds’ playoff run.
Nashville was two games away from winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history (this year was also the first that the team advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals); they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins who are two-time consecutive winners.
To date, the right winger has made 142 regular-season appearances and holds 77 points (39 goals and 38 assists), 63 penalty minutes, and a plus-8 rating.
Predators fans are likely happy to know that that Arvidsson cited their presence as one of the best reasons to remain in the South through the 2023-2024 season.
“I love how they salute my effort and the fact that they apparently want me to keep playing there. For sure they’ve really proved they can be counted on as well,” said Arvidsson, who also stated that the fans’ supportive comments “never get old.”