Austin Watson, RW, 2010, #18 Pick in the First Round
Austin Watson was chosen in the 2010 draft ahead of some pretty good players. Right ahead of Nick Bjugstad of the Panthers who has 56 goals in the NHL. Yevgeni Kuznetsov of the Capitals had 20 goals and 77 points this season. Brock Nelson of the Islanders with 60 goals, and Tyler Toffoli of the Kings with 68.
Drafting is an inexact science. Austin Watson played the entire year for the Nashville Predators this season and he had 3 goals and 10 points. That is not to say that he won’t be a scoring forward for the Preds.
He had limited ice time and only played 57 games. He was mostly on the fourth, checking line. In his past three seasons in Milwaukee, he scored over 20 goals all three seasons.
Next season with Eric Nystrom and Paul Gaustad gone, he will really have his chance to shine. He is only 24-years old and already has 63 games of NHL experience and has been around pros that know how to play the game. He could be a really solid two-way player that can chip in at least double-digit goals.
He has nice size at 6’4″ and 200 lbs and if he can improve his skating just a bit, he could be a valuable part of the Nashville Predators for a long time.
Next: #9, A Very Solid Pick