No player had a better playoff series for the Predator than first-round draft pick Austin Watson. Why the qualifier? Because most people forget how highly rated Watson was coming into the NHL. While he may be a more physical presence, do not underestimate his offensive skill.
With four goals and three assists, Watson is tied for the team scoring lead. His 4.44 points per 60 is third best on the team so far, and his 5.19 game score per 60 is second best. Watson earned a point in every game, with only one secondary assist.
Of course, his defense was stellar. He levied 18 hits and blocked 6 shots, leading all forwards. The Avalanche gained 9 high-danger chances, fewest among all forward who played each game. They tallied one goal in those situations. Watson continually showed his importance to the team over and over. If it were not for his play, the Predators may not be moving on in the playoffs.
Next up for the Predators are the Jets. It is great to have so many players step up in the first round. However, Nashville will need every player to be at their best during the biggest series in the Western Conference.