Poile stays busy, trades for defenseman Grant Lewis…

General Manager David Poile and the Nashville Predators have been busy this summer.

Poile’s latest move is sending right wing Ian McKenzie to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Grant Lewis.

Lewis’ impeccable NHL resume has a grand total of one game on it.

In that one game, he logged a respectable 15:29 of ice time (not bad for a guy making his NHL debut) and registered one shot on goal. But don’t hold his lack of experience against him. Lewis is a 6’3″, 200 pound blueliner who has tallied 44 points in 133 games at the AHL level. Also, he was steady producer in college, bagging 77 points in his 120 games with Dartmouth.

While at Dartmouth, he was named to the 2004 ECAC All-Rookie Team, he was the only freshman to be a member of the 2004 ECAC First-Team, he was a member of the All-Ivy League First Team and he was a New England Hockey Writers All-Star selection as well. All those accolades prompted Atlanta to make him their second round draft choice the following summer. He then returned to school and posted 52 points in his final three seasons.

So, what we’re saying is, there’s potential there.

The problem is, he’ll be fighting for a spot behind Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Francis Bouillon, Kevin Klein and Cody Franson (hopefully). He’ll also be directly competing with Teemu Laakso, Alexander Sulzer, Jonathan Blum, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis in training camp. Then there’s also the newly signed Brett Palin and Aaron Johnson, as well as prospects Mattias Ekholm and Charles-Olivier Roussel.

Nashville really doesn’t lose anything with this deal as McKenzie was one of the worst players in Development Camp this summer and has never really done a whole lot at the professional level. In 50 career AHL games, he’s tallied just five points, which explains why in each of the past two seasons he’s split time between the AHL Milwaukee Admirals and the ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones. With the Cyclones, he’s produced a little more, posting 20 points in 64 career games.

So, based on those stats, Atlanta’s ECHL affiliate, the Gwinnett Gladiators, better get ready because there’s about to be a new kid in town.